Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Age-Related Diseases as Vicious Cycles

Version 1 : Received: 14 April 2017 / Approved: 18 April 2017 / Online: 18 April 2017 (02:45:04 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: Aging Research Reviews 2019, 49, 11-26
DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2018.11.002


Age-related diseases (ARDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide, and contribute to 90% of mortality in developed countries. Interestingly, the mortality rates of individual ARDs increase exponentially with age. Processes described by the exponential growth function typically involve a branching chain reaction or, more generally, a positive feedback loop. Here I propose that each ARD is mediated by one or several positive feedback loops (vicious cycles). I then identify critical vicious cycles in five major ARDs: atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. I also propose that the progression of ARDs can be halted by selectively interrupting the vicious cycles and suggest the most promising targets. An evolutionary perspective is also offered.

Subject Areas

aging; age-related disease; mortality rate; positive feedback loop; vicious cycle

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