Monday 28 November 2016

BRC Director presents update on ageing research

The Director of the Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre addressed delegates at the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) Autumn Meeting.

The Autumn Meeting, which took place in Glasgow from 23rd to 25th November, brought together academics and health care professionals from around the country to address some of the most pressing challenges in the healthcare of older people today.

Director of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, Professor Avan Aihie Sayer was a key speaker at the event. She opened a symposium on sarcopenia and frailty before leading the national launch of the British Geriatrics Society Special Interest Group on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research.

Avan Sayer, who is also Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Newcastle University, leads an internationally recognised research programme on sarcopenia and frailty with particular focus on how to translate understanding about mechanisms into improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention across the life course.

Her presentation, entitled: ‘Sarcopenia and frailty: core business for geriatricians’ aimed to give delegates an overview of current approaches to diagnosis as well as an understanding of the burden of these ageing syndromes.  She was joined at the conference by fellow Newcastle University ageing researchers, Dr Richard Dodds and Dr Antoneta Granic, both members of the research group, ‘Ageing Geriatrics and Epidemiology’.

Dr Richard Dodds presented on, ‘Prevalence and incidence of sarcopenia in the very old: findings from the Newcastle 85+ study’. The 85+ study is one of Newcastle upon Tyne’s largest ageing cohort studies, providing a wealth of data from individuals around the north east on crucial aspects of health and wellbeing.

Dr Antoneta Granic presented a scientific poster on the relationship between grip strength and mortality in older adults, also part of the 85+ study findings. She was successful in taking away the prize for best poster at the event.

Translational research supported by the NIHR

The NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, a partnership between Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University, is based at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality. The focus of the research is to bring researchers and clinicians together to improve the lives of patients and the public through world-class research in ageing and long-term conditions.

The Campus for Ageing and Vitality at Newcastle University brings together state-of-the-art research facilities with NHS clinics which are supported by the National Institute for Health Research.

The CRESTA Clinic (Clinics for Research and Service in Themed Assessments), is a one-stop-shop for assessments, where patients can see a number of healthcare professionals through fewer appointments. The clinics also identify additional patients to get involved with future research and clinical trial projects.

Also on the Campus for Ageing and Vitality is the CARU Clinic (Clinical Ageing Research Unit) which is a dedicated area for research into age-related and degenerative conditions.

Both clinical are part of the NIHR’s Clinical Research Facility; dedicated facilities that enable the highest quality of research projects and patient care.

Studies undertaken by Professor Sayer and her team made use of the facilities available at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality as part of the NIHR’s investment into translational research in ageing and long-term conditions. Professor Sayer commented: ‘Our aim at the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre is to work as a clinical and academic partnership to discover new ways to improve the lives of patients through our commitment to understanding more about ageing and long-term conditions.

It is thanks to the overall support of the wider NIHR infrastructure that we are able to dedicate our time to delivering care, whilst learning more about how to improve health and healthcare in ageing and long-term conditions, particularly in this case, on the subject of sarcopenia and frailty.’