Biological mechanisms of aging, multimorbidity, and frailty

Multimorbidity and polypharmacy, in association with frailty, are transversal conditions in the elderly population, which contribute to a complex clinical-assistance and difficult management for the national health system.

The AGING Network is primarily involved in the identification of strategies aimed at analyzing and deepening the cellular and epigenetic mechanisms related to aging and the associated frailty and multimorbidity. It also aims to verify the clinical results of healthy aging promotion. To this end, AGING Network’s research is focused on the characterization of biological mechanisms behind healthy aging, multimorbidity and frailty, both in animal models and in humans.

Moreover, the AGING Network works to study the alterations associated with premature aging conditions in order to identify new molecules with senolytic action that could act as precursors for future innovative therapeutic intervention for prevention and treatment of age-related disease.

Multimorbidity, frailty, polypharmacy and age-related diseases

Aging is characterized by complexity that is still not fully understood and is associated with a progressive increase in the occurrence of chronic diseases. This results in increased multimorbidity (the simultaneous presence of multiple diseases in the same patient) and polypharmacy (the simultaneous use of multiple drugs). The high prevalence of multimorbidity and polypharmacy among older people is, in turn, associated with several adverse health outcomes, including high risk of hospitalization, reduced quality of life, occurrence of disability, and higher health-care costs.

The AGING Network aims to investigate how multimorbidity impacts on physical and cognitive performance, proposing a health-care model for older patients based on a careful diagnosis and assessment of functional status. In addition, the Network wants to assess the impact of multimorbidity, frailty, polypharmacy and their interactions on the prognosis of older patients, analyzing the databases of the participating IRCCS. One of the main goals is to improve the characterization and stratification of the older patients of the Institutes participating in the Network.

On this basis, the AGING Network will be able to develop innovative protocols for clinical evaluation, clinical-epidemiological and rehabilitation research, based on a shared methodological approach that implements the principles of Precision Medicine in geriatric-gerontological settings.

Use of ICT technologies for the older patients care

An area of particular relevance in the research and care of older patients concerns non-pharmacological interventions, such as Techno-assistance. Nowadays, improving assistive technologies accessibility for elderly with multimorbidity, frailty and polypharmacy is crucial. The use of Techno-assistance interventions can be particularly suitable in dealing with such complex scenarios that include the evaluation of many variables. In addition, the use of complex analytical procedures, such as, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, makes it possible to identify the needs of this extremely heterogeneous population, through the use of original research models based on real world data.

The AGING Network investigates the application of these technologies, the related management models, the operational protocols and the specific relationships with different regional and national regulations; it also aims to activate pilot studies using different and innovative methodologies. Moreover, the Network explores the possibility to use original real world models to analyze the match of the currently available technologies with the needs of older people, and their application within communities of practice and long-term care services, in terms of diffusion, usability, acceptability, safety and efficacy.


Online event: Implementation of a RoadMap in Aging research (IRMA) and Research synergies among the AGING Network (SIRI)
“PROMISING” final project

On February 22, from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, the AGING Network will host the final event of the projects: Implementation of a RoadMap in Aging research (IRMA) and Research

27 January 2023

On the 1st of November 2021, the project entitled "PROMISING: Approach to precision medicine in geriatrics: from the biomolecular basis of ageing and age-related diseases, to clinical and care models"

1 November 2021