Photo: Maja Rudolphson

For three days 8-10 June, NEAR attended the 26th edition of Nordic Congress of Gerontology which this year took place in Odense in Denmark. The theme of this year’s congress was CHANGE & CONTINUITY and NEAR participated as one of the sponsors and had an exhibition booth where we presented NEAR and research findings from ongoing NEAR Projects.

       
Photo: Maja Rudolphson

Over 550 people participated during the three days with exchange of research and inspiration from different countries and universities. The conference offered a large number of high-quality abstracts on a great variety of topics. The topics reflects the five pillars of the Nordic Gerontological Federation: biological and medical sciences; health sciences; behavioral and social sciences; humanities and arts; and social research, policy and practice. The well-planned program included 8 keynote speeches, 44 symposiums, more than 100 free oral presentations, 160 posters.


Photo: Maja Rudolphson

NEARs Scientific Coordinator, Debora Rizzuto was one of the speakers at the congress who held a presentation about her research project concerning Air pollution and dementia. During the pauses NEAR held booth presentations where three Post Docs from Karolinska Institutet presented their research findings from ongoing NEAR projects.

     
Photo: Maja Rudolphson

Photo: Maria Wahlberg

NEAR consist of 15 databases and four of those belong to Swedish National Study on Aging and Care (SNAC). This year SNAC celebrating 20 year, and recently they met at a Jubileum retreat in Stockholm archepelago. Researchers and the data collection staff working with the SNAC met at Djurönäset, Stockholm, during a two-days retreat on 24–25 May 2022.  During the retreat, examples of 20-year-long outstanding research activity were presented. Moreover, researchers and the data collection staff had the unique opportunity to discuss jointly about future challenges and lines of action. We also had the honor to have Mårten Lagergren with us, the promoter of the SNAC project by the beginning of the 2000s. After 20 years, we are well aware that the SNAC study is more relevant than ever, thanks to the relevance, comprehensiveness and long follow-up of the collected data. SNAC has been, is and will be key to answer some of the key priority challenges concerning the health and well-being of older people. During the retreat, NEAR’s Scientific Coordinator, Debora Rizzuto held a presentation about NEAR and talked about findings from NEAR projects.

 

NEAR participated at the Swedish Meeting for Alzheimer Research in Aula Medica, Stockholm. The KI President, Ole Petter Ottersen opened the conference followed by H.M. Queen Silvia. The NEAR Scientific Coordinator, Debora Rizzuto, held a presentation about dementia research within NEAR.

H.M. Queen Silvia and Ole Petter Ottersen. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Debora Rizzuto. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Other speakers during the day included the NEAR Board members, Lars Nyberg and Miia Kivipelto, who talked about aging and brain maintenance, as well as dementia prevention.

Lars Nyberg. Photo: Bolin Wu

Miia Kivipelto. Photo: Ulf Sirborn.

NEAR also had a booth where information about NEAR and NEAR-related activities was available. NEAR would like to thank the Center for Alzheimer Research (CAR) for hosting a fantastic and stimulating conference!

 

Debora Rizzuto. Photo: Jing Wu

NEAR Central Operational Group (OG). Photo: Giulia Grande

 

 

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The Database Coordinator of NEAR, Alexander Darin-Mattsson presented NEAR at the 7th annual Big Data Conference at Linnaeus University Centre for Data Intensive Sciences and Applications (DISA) in Växjö, Sweden, 1 December 2021. 

 

NEAR’s Scientific Coordinator Debora Rizzuto and Database Manager Alexander Darin Mattsson participated in “Optimising Multistudy Integrative Research”, a conference held at the Wellcome Genome Center, Cambridge, UK at 18-20 September. Themes ranged from approaches for multistudy analyses, to challenges and solutions related to heterogeneity, data sharing, and measurement harmonization. Researchers from several prominent programmes like IALSA, ATHLOS and IGEMS shared experiences and presented their results.

 

IAGGER              

NEAR was well-represented during the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region (IAGG-ER) Congress 2019 in Gothenburg.

The NEAR director Laura Fratiglioni had a key stage talk with the title: “NEAR: A common effort for a better future” where she talked about how solutions for a better life in old age can be found in Swedish research.

 

NEAR also held a well-visited symposium with the title: “NEAR – the National E-infrastructure on Aging Research in Sweden: Building on 30 Years of Experience to Prepare for Future Aging Research”

Chair: Laura Fratiglioni, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Co-chair: Debora Rizzuto, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.

  1. Social Inequalities in old age. Speaker: Carin Lennartsson, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.
  2. Care of elderly people. Speaker: Anders Wimo, Karolinska Institutet.
  3. Gene-Environmental Interplay to Explain Health Heterogeneity: Results from the Swedish Twin Registry. Speaker: Nancy Pedersen, Karolinska Institutet
  4. Redefine dementia diagnosis etiology in epidemiological studies. Speaker: Ingmar Skoog, University of Gothenburg.

         

Many persons also came to visit our booth where information about NEAR and NEAR-related activities could be found.

 

NEAR would like to thank the organizers for hosting a fantastic and stimulating congress and we are looking forward to upcoming IAGG-ER conferences!

IAGGER              

We are happy to announce that NEAR will host its first symposium with the title: “NEAR – the National E-infrastructure on Aging Research in Sweden: Building on 30 Years of Experience to Prepare for Future Aging Research” at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress, May 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden (IAGG-ER 2019).

We hope to see you there!

 

SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM

NEAR – the National Infrastructure on Aging Research in Sweden: building on 30 years of experience to prepare for future aging research

Chair: Laura Fratiglioni, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Co-chair: Debora Rizzuto, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.

  1. Gene-Environmental Interplay to Explain Health Heterogeneity: Results from Swedish Twin Register. Speaker: Nancy Pedersen, Karolinska Institutet
  2. Social Inequalities in Health in old age. Speaker: Johan Fritzell, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.
  3. Redefine dementia diagnosis etiology in epidemiological studies. Speaker: Ingmar Skoog, University of Gothenburg.
  4. Care of elderly people. Speaker: Anders Wimo, Karolinska Institutet.
  5. Neuroimaging Biomarkers in Brain Ageing. Speaker: Lars Nyberg, Umeå University.

 

Abstract

Since the 1970s, Swedish longitudinal population-based studies have played a major role in geriatric research by exploring health-related conditions in older adults. Most of those studies are now collaborating to build the newly started National E-infrastructure for Aging Research (NEAR) to empower aging research in Sweden. This symposium presents and discusses some of the breakthrough contributions of the participating studies. The Gothenburg Population Studies will provide a comprehensive overview of the role vascular factors play in dementia and Alzheimer disease, starting with pioneering evidence of the impact of high blood pressure on dementia risk. Findings from the Swedish Twin Registry, which uses a life course approach, will also be presented. This research has quantified genetic and environmental influences on common chronic disorders and individual changes in physical and cognitive functioning. SWEOLD will present results on the relevance of living conditions and family connections to well-being and healthy aging, as well as information on health inequality by sex, education, and socioeconomic position found in older adults, even in Sweden. Speakers will also cover findings on the complexity and heterogeneity of older adults’ health in relation to care needs and use of medical and social resources, based on integrated information from the four SNAC studies. For a more complete picture, temporal trends of different health indicators will also be presented. Finally, findings from the Betula project will be presented; researchers have observed large heterogeneity in memory-aging profiles linked not only to genetic and lifestyle-related factors but also to specific brain characteristics that could be used as clinically relevant biomarkers. In conclusion, NEAR integrates rich medical and social data and brings together the scientific experience of its founders, providing unique opportunities to identify sustainable intervention strategies for better health and care for old people.