A rapidly growing ageing population is set to see the amount of people aged over 80 quadruple by 2050. The Conference, hosted by Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA), explored a range of health, well-being and economic issues. These included understanding the physiological and cognitive issues associated with ageing, working towards reducing the gap between healthy lifespan and actual lifespan and the economic and infrastructural implications facing society.
The meeting was opened by an insightful keynote lecture from Professor Benzie of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, highlighting the importance of diet and the role of antioxidants in cancer, diabetes, heart disease and dementia.
This was followed by a series of seminars investigating the use of human stem cell, animal nutritional models and the consequences of metabolic imbalance on the underlying aetiology and progression of diseases associated with ageing, with a key focus on type 2 diabetes.
Other topics included frailty and associated changes in ageing muscle; maintaining our eyesight and health in the ageing eye; and the use of large population-based studies to identify underlying genetic changes that correlate with age-related disease.
The Symposium featured speakers from Japan, China, India, Korea, Egypt, Ireland and Brazil as well as several speakers from within Aston’s School of Life and Health Sciences, reflecting the global importance of ageing research. It provided opportunities to present current research and to foster future research collaborations and grant development.