Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR)
Conducting high quality interdisciplinary research and promoting research-led teaching around ageing, older people and age-related disease that establishes Lancaster University as a leading regional, national and international centre of excellence for ageing research and teaching.
The impact of global ageing is widely acknowledged as having significant implications for health, society, the economy and policy. This has been recognised in policy, strategy and debate within and across organisations as diverse as the UN, the WHO, the EU as well as national, regional and local governments, public, private and third sectors.
Concerns are being raised about how we can ensure older people experience an active and healthy older age and how we can address the needs of the rising numbers of our 'oldest old' populations (those age 85+) who may make significant demands on our health and welfare systems.
Scientists at Lancaster University are making significant contributions to both early diagnosis and alleviation of some of the worst effects of mental and physiological ageing. Our research work encompasses neuro-degenerative disease (particularly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's), molecular change associated with the ageing process as well as pathological developments associated with disease. We are also working on the design and development of new technologies to support and enhance the health and wellbeing older people and their care-givers.
Importantly, however it is Lancaster's reputation for interdisciplinarity that underpins its strength in the field of Ageing Research. Social scientists at Lancaster are playing an important role in contributing to our understanding of how best to address the needs of older people and their carers in ways that are both proactive and conscious of the need to place dignity, choice and independence at the forefront of care and support for older people.
Whilst this work seeks to answer different sorts of questions to those of bioscience and engineering, it is the strength of this interdisciplinary approach that enables us to gain more detailed insights and offer more effective interventions to support a more successful ageing process.
Scientists at Lancaster in partnership with a local NHS Trust have shown that people with Alzheimer's disease have difficulty with one particular type of eye tracking test and this simple test could hold the key to earlier Alzheimer's diagnosis.
Detailed eye-tracking measurements, taken from Alzheimer's patients and the control group showed stark contrasts in results. Patients with Alzheimer's made errors 10 times more frequently compared to those in the control groups.
Researchers also measured memory function among those Alzheimer's patients who found the test difficult and were able to show a clear correlation with lower memory function. These new results are potentially very exciting as they demonstrate, for the first time, a connection with the memory impairment that is so often the first noticeable symptom in Alzheimer's disease.
In another development, research at Lancaster has discovered that a commonly prescribed diabetes drug could reverse memory loss and the build-up of plaques on the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease. Results from the study, funded by the Alzheimer's Society, show that liraglutide might be able to reverse some of the damage caused by Alzheimer's disease in the later stages of the condition. Developing new drugs from scratch can take many years and cost millions of pounds so repurposing existing drugs as dementia treatments is an incredibly exciting way of bringing new treatments closer.
These are just two examples of how scientists and social scientists can address common issues from different but equally important perspectives.
- To promote and conduct high-quality interdisciplinary research concerning ageing throughout Lancaster University, and beyond to national and international academic, policy, practitioner and older people's networks;
- To establish a strong international visibility and reputation for ageing research and research-led teaching at Lancaster, that establishes Lancaster as a major international hub for research, scholarship and debate around ageing.
- To provide a locus for external funding applications for interdisciplinary ageing research.
- To develop postgraduate training in ageing and ageing research and to provide a major point of attraction for research and taught postgraduates in the field;
- To develop CPD training on ageing for those tasked with planning and providing care and support for ageing populations across the UK and beyond.
Examples of current projects being undertaken by core members of C4AR include:
FOCUS: Frailty management Optimisation through EIP AHA Commitments and Utilisation of stakeholders input. This EU funded project includes partners across disciplines from 6 different countries working together to critically reduce the burden of frailty in Europe by developing methodologies and tools to assist early diagnosis, screening and management of frailty and to understand the barriers and facilitators to preventing and intervening with frailty from a range of perspectives, from frail older person to EU or National health policy maker. FOCUS Final Report
Contact: Professor Carol Holland
Men in Sheds and other gendered interventions for older men
This report provides a systematic review of the evidence base of Men in Sheds and other gender-specific interventions designed to promote health and wellbeing amongst older men. The final report is now available for downloading.
EPOCH: The experiences and expectations of older people resident in care homes, their carers and professionals of end of life care and symptom relief needs: a prospective study (with the University of Hertfordshire).
Contact: Professor Katherine Froggatt
APPROACH: Analysis and Perspectives of integrated working in Primary care Organizations and Care Homes (with the University of Hertfordshire).
Contact: Professor Katherine Froggatt
EFORRT Remote care interventions: ethics, gender and governance of new technologies of elderly care at home (Comparative study with the UK, Netherlands, Norway and Spain).
Contact Professor Christine Milligan
NEUROSCREEN: development of biomarkers for dementia in old age.
Contact: Professor David Allsop
Ageing, oxidative damage and mitochondrial DNA mutation.
Contact: Dr David Clancy
NAD: development of nanoparticles for improved diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (EU- FP7).
MRC-funded longitudinal study on biomarkers for Parkinson's disease.
Contact: Professor David Allsop
The Roles of ACER and Insulin/IGF-like Signalling in the Dietary Moderation of Sleep and Lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster.
Contact: Dr Sue Broughton
The usefulness of health and fitness apps of wearable gadgets
An article written by Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves on the usefulness of health and fitness apps of wearable gadgets, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Android Wear, Fitbit’s Charge Microsoft’s Band and the Apple Watch, published by The Guardian on Monday the 1st of December http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2014/dec/01/wearable-technology-gadget-christmas-health-fitness
The design of personalised computer games for aiding stroke survivors with their physiotherapy
An article published by The Daily Mail on Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves' research work & journal article on the design of personalised computer games for aiding stroke survivors with their physiotherapy. The article contains a quote on the merits of the study from Dr Shamim Quadir, Research Communications Manager at the Stroke Association. The work was also featured in other online media outlets.
The design of computer games for combating some of the symptoms of Parkinson's
An article published by The Daily Mirror on Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves’ research work and journal article on the design of computer games for combating some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. The work was also featured in an article by The Times (page 5 on the Friday 21 November issue). The article included a comment on the merits of the study, by the Parkinson's UK clinical director Professor David Burn. The article became very popular across the UK, in Australia as well as other countries by being featured by major online News outlets, such as Yahoo UK News, BT News, Sky News Australia, The Daily Telegraph Sydney, The Herald Sun and several others.
The Centre for Ageing Research provides a vibrant hub for postgraduate activity across the disciplines. More than 28 postgraduate research students are currently affiliated to the Centre. Examples of research projects being undertaken by research students within the Centre include:
- The role of DNA mutations in ageing
- Seeking and testing gene targets for delaying ageing
- Studies on proteins relevant to frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease
- The role of insulin/IGF-like signalling and dietary sugar in ageing and locomotor senescence
- Narratives of living well with a long term health condition
- Experiences of older people and their families accessing out-of-hours services
- Carers' needs and preferred forms of support following a stroke
Centre for Ageing Research 'Town & Gown Event' - Lancaster Town Hall, 7th September 2017
The theme of this year's Town and Gown event was 'Dementia and the Imagination: Arts and Design for Health'. Organised and run by Lancaster University Centre for Ageing Research, it was designed to introduce delegates to some of the most cutting edge research and practice, drawing on knowledge and expertise from the worlds of art and design. From music and theatre to participatory art and design, this event showcased the work of researchers from Lancaster University together with that of their collaborators with backgrounds in health, academia and the voluntary and community sector.
A series of videos, with accompanying presentations in PDF format, where available, can be found below:
Christine Milligan, An introduction to the event| Watch the video
Paul Rodgers, "Disrupting Dementia by Design" | No presentation available | Watch the video
John Killick, No presentation available | Watch the video
Mary Elliott, No presentation available | Watch the video
New Initiatives in Careers Health and Enterprise (NICHE) Seminar – 23 February 2017
A report summarising this NICHE seminar event can be found below.
Environmental challenges in older age Seminar – 8 December 2016
The Centre for Ageing Research held a seminar on environmental challenges in older age, including the impact of climate change (floods and heatwaves), and the potential risk of air pollution in the development of dementia.
Professor Barbara Maher & Professor David Allsop talked about 'Airborne particulate pollution as a potential environmental risk factor for Alzheimer's disease' and Professor Gordon Walker talked about 'Heatwaves, vulnerabilities and climate change: problems for and with care provision for older people'
Download the presentations:
Non-drug Treatments to Intervene and Prevent Dementia Symposium - 23 June 2016
Resources from this successful, well-attended event are now available online. The Symposium was held online, using web conferencing technology, affording guest presenters and other 'virtual' delegates the opportunity to contribute to the day.
Below, you will find all of the presentation videos, which you are free to watch online by clicking each in turn.
(Please note that the quality of some videos is variable, subject to technical limitations experienced between the University and some of the online presenters).
- Garuth Chalfont – Nature and Outdoors
- Sandra Sünram-Lea – Nutrition for Brain Health
- John La Puma – Culinary Medicine
- Eleni Tsiompanou – Brain Loving DIETA
- Majid Fotuhi – Brain Fitness Program
- Yasuhiro Kawase – Kashinomori Program
- Dan Nightingale - Hypnotherapy
- Nisshin-OilliO Group – Medium Chain Triglycerides
- Karmacorp & 'Taking it Forward' discussion
An C4AR: Non-drug treatments to intervene and prevent Dementia - Event report is also available.
Music proves to be a real hit in dementia project
The Creative Exchange, Ageing Playfully, has been featured on a number of medical news sites, such as News Medical, Medical Express and Medical News Today, in the UK and overseas. The project discovered that creative activities such as designing musical instruments can improve the quality of life of people with dementia.
Dementia Futures 'Town and Gown' Event - 18th September 2015
In September 2015, the Centre for Ageing Research held its annual Town and Gown event in Lancaster Town Hall. The focus of the event was on Dementia Futures, bringing together academics from the university, clinicians and practitioners, city councillors and members of the public to hear about some of the latest developments in dementia research and practice. This year saw the addition of a room demonstrating a range of interactive activities used in research that proved a huge success with those attending.
Download the presentation portfolio: Dementia Futures Presentations
Palliative Care Research in Care Homes - 14th June 2016
This seminar aimed to present current international care home research with respect to palliative care for older people. Following the presentations there was an opportunity for discussion and at the end of the day the role of research in care homes was further considered.
Given the focus of the seminar the event was arranged in partnership with the National Research and development in Care Homes Forum and the International Observatory on End of Life Care.
Download the seminar report: Funded Research Seminar 2016
Embodied experiences of stroke in rural areas (7th May 2015)
Louise Meijering, Assistant Professor in the Department of Demography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, talks about the research that she and other colleagues have been conducting on the place-based experiences of older stroke survivors in the Netherlands.
Download the presentation: Embodied Experiences of Stroke
C4AR Pathways to Impact Seminar Series Ageing and Health: Breaking Down Boundaries
Seminar 3: Caring for the oldest old of our populations (10th July 2015)
As part of the University's 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Centre for Ageing Research held a 'town and gown' event themed around Caring for Our Older Populations on 10th July 2014.
Download the presentation portfolio: Pathways to Impact: Seminar 3
- Contact C4AR
Ageing and Communities
Lancaster University Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR) Town and Gown Event
19th September 2019, Lancaster Town Hall.
Many of us expect to stay in our current home as we age, while others envisage moving to somewhere that may suit us better, perhaps to be near family, to live in a beautiful rural area we’ve always loved, or to a home more suited to our lifestyle or needs. We may move because we want to downsize (or “rightsize”), need to give up driving, or potentially need some support. We may also care for people living with impairments such as dementia, mobility or sensory difficulties and recognise that our local communities, neighbourhoods and towns could develop in ways that would make them more “age friendly” and in which the different generations could mix better.
This one day event will showcase work from Lancaster University’s Centre for Ageing researchers and partners, touching on themes such as digital innovation in new and into existing housing, alternative housing choices, neighbourhoods that are supportive for people with dementia, out of home mobility, active ageing and staying connected, and intergenerational projects.
Timed to coincide with the development of the Health Innovation Campus (HIC) in Bailrigg, and Healthy New Towns like Whyndyke Garden Village, the event will feature talks from researchers and linked non-academic organisations who are using new community models and technologies to support healthy ageing. There will also be a showcase with further information and some examples for you to explore. Come and discover what the future holds, and explore ways to get involved yourself.
Please see the attached programme for full details.
Attendance at this one day event is free but places are limited, so you MUST register for a place at this event.
To reserve your place to attend please click on the following link:
Download the programme: C4AR Town & Gown Event 2019
Study with us
Our blended learning courses have an international focus, offering global perspectives at a top 10 UK university. These degrees allow you to balance your work, job and family commitment by studying part-time via e-learning, while offering support from experienced professional and academic teams.
Learn theories in gerontology and ageing, research skills and practice, health and social care systems, social policies in the UK and globally; and gain deeper insights in population ageing, and how to provide better health and care systems to support older people and families.
MSc Ageing (Blended Learning)
In the MSc Ageing, you will take four taught modules online, undertake a research project and complete a 10000-word dissertation with dedicated supervision from the academic team at Lancaster. You will begin your study from a one-week induction academy at Lancaster University.Read more
Doctoral Programmes in Ageing and Dementia Studies (Blended Learning)
If your aim is to further enhance your understanding of theory, policy and practice, and make an original contribution to knowledge development within the field, our blended learning PhD in Ageing or PhD in Dementia Studies will suit you.Read more
Professor Christine MilliganProfessor
Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre
Jan LyonsResearch Secretary, Library Administrative Assistant
Dr Mandy DixonAssistant Director, Health Innovation Campus
Work and Health Forum
Dr Amy GadoudSenior Clinical Lecturer in Palliative Medicine
International Observatory on End of Life Care
Professor Sumi HelalChair in Digital Health
Digital Health Group, Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre
Dr Bob LauderAcademic Teaching Director for UA92, Senior Lecturer
Dr Ceu Mateus SFHEASenior Lecturer in Health Economics
Centre for Health Inequalities Research
Dr Stephen MilanPartnership Development Manager, Health Engagement and Innovation Team
Work and Health Forum
Dr Michelle SwainsonLecturer in Physiology, Casual - Course Consultant
Dr Emmanuel TseklevesSenior Lecturer
DSI - Health, ImaginationLancaster, Work and Health Forum
Dr Sandra VareyResearch Fellow, Senior Research Associate (Qualitative)
Professor Plamen AngelovProfessor
Centre for Biophotonics, Centre for Technological Futures , Cyber Security Research Centre (Data), DSI - Foundations, Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre, SCC (Data Science), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence), Security Lancaster (Cyber Security)
Professor Susan CartwrightProfessor of Organisational Psychology and Wellbeing
People, Work and Organisation
Professor Simon GuyProfessor, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Digital, Global & Development)
Dr Thomas KeeganDirector of PG Research and Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology
Professor Joanne KnightChair in Applied Data Science
DSI - Health
Professor Peter McClintockResearch Professor, Emeritus Professor
DSI - Health, Low Temperature Physics, Nonlinear and Biomedical Physics
Professor Barbara MaherProfessor
Centre for Biophotonics, Earth Science, Innovation for a better environment, Sustainable Catchments, Understanding a changing planet
Professor Corinne May-ChahalProfessor
Centre for Child and Family Justice Research, Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Violence & Society)
Professor Don PasseyProfessor, Casual - Course Consultant
Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning
Professor Sheila PayneProfessor
International Observatory on End of Life Care
Dr Paul RaysonReader in Natural Language Processing
Cyber Security Research Centre (Data), DSI - Foundations, DSI - Health, Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre, SCC (Data Science), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence), UCREL - University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language
Professor Celia RobertsCasual - Academic Assessor
Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Centre for Science Studies
Dr Mark RouncefieldReader
ISF Past Fellows, SCC (Pervasive Systems)
Professor John SchadProfessor, Casual - Course Consultant
Lancaster Writing Programme
Professor Elena SeminoProfessor
DisTex - Discourse and Text Research Group, ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, ISF Fellows 2019/20, Research Group in Cognitive Linguistics , UCREL - University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language
Dr Stuart SharpLecturer
Ecology and Conservation, Understanding a changing planet
Professor Aneta StefanovskaProfessor
DSI - Health, Nonlinear and Biomedical Physics
Professor Carol ThomasEmeritus
Centre for Disability Research CeDR, Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, International Observatory on End of Life Care
Professor Gordon WalkerProfessor
Critical Geographies, DEMAND - Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand, Improving global stewardship, Innovation for a better environment
Professor Ian WalkerProfessor
Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, DSI - Society, Economics Research Group, Gulf One Lancaster Centre for Economic Research, Labour, Education and Health Economics
Dr Lara WarmelinkLecturer - Security Lancaster
Cyber Security Research Centre (Psychology), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence), Security Lancaster (Behavioural Science), Social Processes