— The VR grant will allow us to build a new, multidisciplinary environment to address the complexity and heterogeneity of older adults’ health, says Professor Laura Fratiglioni. Our solid anchorage in clinical practice and the integration of disciplines from molecular biology to epidemiology will uniquely position us to identify targets that can help individualize primary prevention, early diagnosis, and care.
The 6-year program aims to: 1) disentangle the interplay among major geriatric syndromes and trace longitudinal trajectories of individuals’ health changes (Projects I & II); 2) comprehensively explore the lifelong effects of contextual, clinical, and genetic factors and their biological mechanisms leading to different aging trajectories and clinical phenotypes (Projects III & IV); and 3) examine the interrelationship between health trajectories and use of medical and social care services (Project V). We will use information from 2 population-based studies carried out at the Aging Research Center that include large random samples of older adults followed up every 3 years for more than15 years. The data collected through face-to-face interviews, clinical examinations, and testing will be complemented with new genetic and biomarker assessment. The program will generate evidence to support clinicians in individualizing treatments and preventive strategies for older adults, help researchers better understand the mechanisms underlying the aging process, and aid health systems in optimizing care provision.