Researchers from The Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR) at Lancaster University are to establish and lead a Cognitive Frailty Interdisciplinary Network funded by the BBSRC and MRC.
Working across disciplines, the network includes co-investigators at Newcastle, Aston, Sheffield Hallam and Heriot-Watt Universities, as well as an international External Advisory Group led by colleagues at Durham University and at the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA).
The network will address the issue of Cognitive Frailty bringing together expertise ranging from biogerontology and psychology to social engagement, point of care specialists and policy.
Lancaster researchers include Professor Carol Holland and Dr Sue Broughton from The Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR).
Lead researcher Professor Holland said: “We know that as we get older, our bodies often can’t do what they used to and we may become frailer. We also know that our mind is often not as sharp as it used to be. These physical and cognitive changes are often seen even when we don’t have diagnosed age-related diseases such as arthritis or dementia. Physical frailty and cognitive frailty are often present at the same time in older adults.
“What is striking, however, is that the relationship between physical and cognitive frailty isn’t just because both are linked to older age. We don’t fully understand how one might cause the other or what drives this co-occurrence.”
The Cognitive Frailty Interdisciplinary Network aims to explore the behavioural, social and biological determinants of cognitive frailty, looking at the underlying biological mechanisms.
Professor Amanda Ellison who is Director of the Wolfson Centre and a member of the External Advisory group, said: “We need to know what interventions, based on nutrition, education or exercise for example, work for whom and why, and importantly why something that works for some does not work for others. Only by putting all of the factors that influence our health together in a more personalised way, with an understanding of the environment in which we live, will we truly be able to mitigate predictors of cognitive frailty, keeping us healthy for longer.”
Entitled “Harnessing knowledge of lifespan biological, health, environmental and psychosocial mechanisms of cognitive frailty for integrated interventions”, this is one of a group of Interdisciplinary Ageing Across the Life Course networks funded by the BBSRC and MRC Grant Ref: BB/W018322/1.Back to News