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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Biological mechanisms of ageing

Theories which explain the mechanisms of biological ageing include:

  • the mutation or genome instability theory;
  • the free radical or oxidative stress theory;
  • the mitochondrial theory;
  • the error catastrophe theory;
  • the altered protein or protein homeostasis dysregulation theory;
  • the dysdifferentiation or epigenetic theory;
  • and the hyperfunction theory.

The most popular theory of ageing, the free radical or oxidative theory, was proposed more than 50 years ago but has recently faced severe criticism. To date, no single theory has been able to successfully explain the mechanisms of ageing. We are awaiting the appearance of a new paradigm or an integration of the existing theories for a better understanding of the mechanisms of ageing.

MICRA affiliated researchers address the mechanistic questions around ageing at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels, to better understand the processes and develop interventions to treat dysfunction associated with them.