Insights into the molecular mechanisms of stress and inflammation in ageing and frailty of the elderly

Dimitrios Vlachakis, Evangelia I Zacharaki, Eirini Tsiamaki, Maria Koulouri, Sofia Raftopoulou, Louis Papageorgiou, George P Chrousos, John Ellul, Vasileios Megalooikonomou


Frailty is a natural state of physical, cognitive and mental decline that is expected in the elderly. The role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of frailty has been hypothesized, and so far many studies have been performed in order to understand the mechanism of action underlying this association. Recent studies support this hypothesis and show a clear association between inflammation, frailty, and age-related disease. Chronic inflammation is key pathophysiologic process that contributes to the frailty directly and indirectly through other intermediate physiologic systems, such as the musculoskeletal, endocrine, and hematologic systems. The complex multifactorial etiologies of frailty also include obesity and other age-related specific diseases. Herein, we investigate the link between chronic inflammation and frailty of the older people. In particular, we present an up-to-date review of the role of cytokines, interleukins, cardiovascular abnormalities, chronic high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia and diabetes in relation to the severity of frailty in the elderly.


stress; inflammation; frailty; ageing


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