This book comprises 25 chapters divided into three parts: General Perspectives, Aging of Systems and Organs, and Prevention and Rehabilitation. Our goal is to provide a book that will be useful to a broad spectrum of readers: those preparing for a career in gerontology or geriatrics, those interested in aging as a specific topic in biology, and older persons (as well as their families and caretakers) who would like to better understand and distinguish age-related changes occurring in the body over time. The joint fields of gerontology and geriatrics are fast expanding, and they attract people from many disciplines, all of whom require a common understanding of the fundamental principles of aging. Using physiology as the unifying concept, this book assimilates and distills information from multiple sources to produce a comprehensive text accessible to a wide audience.
Any consideration of the aging process cannot ignore psychological, social, and economic components, and this is particularly so for the geriatrician, who must deal with the patient from a holistic perspective. Although such factors are vital to a full understanding of this phase of life, an in-depth exploration of their contribution is beyond the scope of this book; the reader will be referred to appropriate publications for further study.
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