Apoptosis (Programmed Cell Death) (Cell Suicide)
Apoptosis is a form of cell death in which a programmed sequence of events leads to the elimination of cells without releasing harmful substances into the surrounding area. Apoptosis plays a crucial role in developing and maintaining health by eliminating old cells, unnecessary cells, and unhealthy cells. The human body replaces perhaps a million cells a second. Too little or too much apoptosis plays a role in a great many diseases. When programmed cell death does not work right, cells that should be eliminated may hang around and become immortal. For example, in cancer and leukemia. When apoptosis works overly well, it kills too many cells and inflicts grave tissue damage. This is the case in degenerative disorders such as arthritis, strokes and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer, Huntington and Parkinson diseases. Apoptosis is also called programmed cell death or cell suicide.