Aging brings some rewards. Our acne clears up and we have a small chance of becoming wise. But most of the effects of aging are not so great. Wrinkles, stiff joints and forgetfulness are just a few of the things youngsters have to look forward to. But the worst insult may be the aging of our immune system.
It starts to behave badly as the years go by, with the built-in innate immune system ramping up inappropriately and your adaptive immune system declining in vigor. The thymus gland, located in the chest and the source of T-cells, shrinks to a fraction of its younger glory.
The flow of fresh T-cells that have been pumped out for a lifetime is suddenly stifled around age 65. It’s almost as if the body has decided that it has learned enough about life’s novel pathogens.