Aging and Behavior: A Comprehensive Integration of Research by Jack Botwinick

By Jack Botwinick

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This may be the result of the lass of neurons, but it is not certain that this is so (see Bondareff, 1981, pp. 140-147). Again, the functional importance of these changes is uncertain. There are other brain changes as Biological Factors in Longevity and Survival 0 47 well. The white matter of the brain becomes more cream-colored because of yellowish "aging pigments" (ca lied Iipofuscin or Iipochrome). The presence of "aging pigment" is seen early in Iife so that by age 32, as many as 84 percent of the cells contain the pigment.

Blood vessels narrow with age (atherosderosis) and they harden (arteriosderosis), making for a loss of e1asticity. 46 D AGING AND BEHAVIOR This keeps an adequate blood supply from reaching all the tissues and organs of the body. Adequate blood supply brings nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and, at the same time, remaves waste products. When there is blood vessel constriction, blood pressure is elevated; if the blood press ure is high enough, the blood vessels can burst. The heart itself loses efficiency.

121-122). Normallife for man was estimated as 70 to 80 years, with a possible potential for Iiving 110 years. The chimpanzee tends to live 15 to 20 years, although it may have a life potential greater than 30 years. The range of the different life spans of mammals is very great: the rat lives about two to three years; it is possible that the fin whale Iives several hundred years. These great specie differences are consistent over the generations. What other than genes can account for this? The fact that long- and short-lived animals can be developed through genetic inbreeding in the laboratory leaves Iittle room for doubt regarding genetic control of life span (Rockstein & Sussman, 1979, p.

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