The AGING Network of Research and Care Institutes (IRCCS) is the only Thematic Network on Aging in Italy.

Funded in 2017 under the coordination of IRCCS INRCA, the AGING Network aims to harmonize research on aging across the national territory and to facilitate and speed up the transfer of excellence, by implementing the best diagnoses and treatments and adopting the best clinical practices developed by the 13 participating Research and Care Institutes (IRCCS).

The purpose is to improve older people’ health, by making innovative clinical trials available, such as personalized medicine trials, to deliver the right therapy to the right individual older patient at the right time.

The importance of the AGING Network

As European population ages, we are facing huge challenges. By 2060, the proportion of people over 65 is estimated to increase to 28% of the total population and those over 80 will grow to 12%.

In this scenario, the urgent need is to match the increase in life expectancy with a longer and health life, while preserving individuals’ functionalities and a high quality of life. Accordingly, the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working to redefine the health-care system and public health model, with a particular focus on older people needs.

The AGING Network goals

  • To harmonize, support and enhance research and care activities in the field of Geriatrics and Gerontology across the national territory.
  • To work in synergy and trigger international collaborations in order to improve the body of knowledge about older population characteristics and address the complex health-care needs of older people.
  • To elaborate a shared definition of multimorbidity, frailty and polypharmacotherapy, adopting a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach that takes into account the complexity and clinical and biological uniqueness of older patients.
  • To characterize the biological mechanisms associated with aging and age-related diseases in order to identify tailored strategies of intervention thanks to the use of innovative technologies.
  • To adopt a shared approach to chronic diseases and geriatric syndromes, in order to better understand the factors that influence physical and cognitive performance and functional autonomy, to analyze the impact of rehabilitation on geriatric outcomes, and to develop non-pharmacological clinical trials.
  • To pool clinical, experimental, and biotechnological expertise, advanced technology, case reports, biobanks and disease-registries the resources from all the IRCCS participating in the network.
  • To encourage the development of clinical trials and studies aimed to integrate complex information that clinicians can use to prescribe the optimal treatment for each patient.
  • To promote the adoption of shared protocols at national level.
  • To support researchers’ networking activities.