A synopsis on aging—Theories, mechanisms and future prospects

João Pinto da Costa, Rui Vitorino, Gustavo M. Silva, Christine Vogel, Armando C. Duarte, Teresa Rocha-Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Answering the question as to why we age is tantamount to answering the question of what is life itself. There are countless theories as to why and how we age, but, until recently, the very definition of aging – senescence – was still uncertain. Here, we summarize the main views of the different models of senescence, with a special emphasis on the biochemical processes that accompany aging. Though inherently complex, aging is characterized by numerous changes that take place at different levels of the biological hierarchy. We therefore explore some of the most relevant changes that take place during aging and, finally, we overview the current status of emergent aging therapies and what the future holds for this field of research. From this multi-dimensional approach, it becomes clear that an integrative approach that couples aging research with systems biology, capable of providing novel insights into how and why we age, is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-112
Number of pages23
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Aging
  • Anti-aging therapies
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology


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