Ageing of the population poses an increasing burden on society. Associated disability and diseases incur increasing economic, healthcare organizational, infrastructural and personal costs that tax national societies / the European society heavily. Particularly degenerative and vascular brain diseases that result in dementia, motor disability and mental health problems are increasingly prevalent. Stimulation of a healthy lifestyle, incl. healthy diet, regular exercise and the development of advanced diagnostics, innovative food products and food supplements, novel drugs, adequate clinical care and technology are key in order to deal with this societal challenge.
Figure 1. Expertise of the ‘Ageing Brain’ program
‘Healthy Ageing’ is a primary focus of research, patient care and education & training within the University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). In line with this strategy, the Research School Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN), including the UMCG-based Research Institute Brain and Cognition - ‘Research Institute for Neurosciences and Healthy Ageing’ and the FMNS-based Research Centre for Behaviour and Neurosciences (CBN) - aim to promote research (and training) that is focused on understanding the function of the healthy brain and dysfunction of the nervous system with reference to neurological and psychiatric disorders (the ‘Ageing Brain’ program). Research within the ‘Ageing Brain’ program is focused on translational collaboration between lab-based and hospital-based researchers (integrating and interacting at different levels of neuroscience research - also see Figure 1.).