Tuesday 20 December 2016

Newcastle experts in ageing help influence the future

Experts in ageing research at Newcastle University have advised on key areas of the future of ageing as part of a report on longevity and health, produced by The Academy of Medical Sciences.

Covering topics such as frailty, multi-morbidity, the translation of science into patient care, health technology, nutrition in older adults and the prediction of healthy ageing, the academics from Newcastle University, and experts in ageing, shared their knowledge at the meeting to produce the subsequent report ‘Influencing the Trajectories of Ageing’.

The report was the result of the Academy’s latest FORUM meeting which is an event aimed at catalysing connections across industry, academia and the NHS.

‘Influencing the trajectories of ageing’ FORUM meeting took place on 16th September 2016 and involved the participation of five Newcastle University age-related research experts.

The focus of ageing research in Newcastle

Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, Director of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre presented on the latest in multimorbidity and frailty research. As well as leading the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, Avan Sayer is Professor of Geriatric Medicine, a clinician and a leading figure in frailty and sarcopenia research.

Director of Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, Professor Louise Robinson played an instrumental role in the discussion.

Professor Robinson is Professor of Primary Care and Ageing at Newcastle University, recipient of NIHR Professorship and lead for the Newcastle NIHR School for Primary Care Research. She contributed to a panel discussion at the FORUM event on, ‘How can the health and social care system benefit from translating this science’.

This debate is a key area of focus for the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre whose purpose is to drive research from bench to bedside for the benefit of patients and the economy under a number of themes related to ageing and long-term conditions.

Also present at the event and included in the discussions were Newcastle University Professors Michael Catt, Professor of Practice in Health Technology and John Mathers, Professor of Human Nutrition.

Ageing cohort studies

Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood was co-Chair of the meeting, as well as taking part in a panel discussion on ‘What are the implications for predicting longevity and health?’

The report also featured insights into Newcastle’s 85+ study; a longitudinal cohort study which began in 2006 by Professor Kirkwood and funded initially by the MRC.

The 85+ Study is the largest and most detailed investigation to date of the biological, social and medical factors influencing the trajectories of health of the fastest growing, but seriously neglected, segment of the population. Results gathered over the past decade have allowed academics in Newcastle to determine biomarkers, as well as epidemiological insights into ageing, which supports ongoing work in this field.

The full ‘Influencing the Trajectories of Ageing Report’ is available here.