Aging is a complex process involving morphologic and biochemical changes in single cells and in the whole organism. One of the most popular explanations of how aging occurs at the molecular level is the oxidative stress hypothesis. Oxidative stress leads in many cases to an age-dependent increase in the cellular level of oxidatively modified macromolecules including DNA, and it is this increase which has been linked to various pathological conditions, such as aging, carcinogenesis, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. It is, however, possible that a number of short-comings associated with gaps in our knowledge may be responsible for the failure to produce definite results when applied to understanding the role of DNA damage in aging and age-related diseases.
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