Studies on aging neuropsychology and molecular mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly population

Cooperation Project 5

Coordinator: Prof. Carla Schwanke

Studies on aging neuropsychology and molecular mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly populationPopulation Aging is a reality. The United Nations (UN)’s 2015 World Population Prospects estimates an increase in the number of individuals aged 60+ between 2015 and 2030 from 901 million to 1.4 billion. Most elderly will be living in developing regions that are affected by their inherent socioeconomic problems.

Among the illnesses afflicting the elderly, non-transmissible chronic diseases are the most frequent ones, especially dementias (such as Alzheimer’s disease), ischemic cardiovascular diseases (coronary artery disease and strokes) and cancers. In this sense, researchers need to make every effort to understand the mechanisms involved in the genesis and evolution of chronic non-transmissible diseases in details, as well as their administration and rehabilitation in aging and aged individuals.

Hence, this project embraces three main themes:

(1) Molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly;

(2) Neuropsychology of aging: clinical and neuropsychological evaluation and neuroimaging and intervention;

(3) Cognitive skills and quality of life in the elderly: a longitudinal study.

The themes will be carried out in partnership with institutions from:

  • Italy – Università degli Studi di Milano. Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomolecular Sciences is one of the best research centers in neurosciences in the country;
  • Canada – University of Montreal. The Centre de Recherche de l’Institute Universitaire de Gériatrie is one of the most renowned behavioral and clinical research centers in neuroimaging studies in aging;
  • Canada – Laval University. The CERVO Research Center is one of the most important centers for neurosciences and mental health in Canada;
  • Spain – Universidad Catolica San Vicente Mártir. International cooperation will be essential for the consolidation of research networks for academic mobility of faculty and students and relevant academic production;
  • United States – University of Vermont.

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