Care of the Ageing

The MACH is committed to improving personalised care for our increasingly ageing society

Across MACH partners there is an active network consisting of global experts with specialisms in the ageing and aged care field across medical disciplines, spanning the full care continuum.

This network—overseen locally by the Care of the Ageing subcommittee and linking nationally through the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA)—aims to address the ageing and aged care challenges faced by end-users, including patients, carers, health care providers and the general population through innovative, evidence-based research that will have both a significant local and global impact.

Our Work

 

Enhancing Muscle POWER in Geriatric Rehabilitation: EMPOWER-GR

Prof. Andrea Maier

The worldwide population is ageing and it is expected that the proportion of people aged 60 years and above will triple over the next 30 years. Sarcopenia – low muscle mass – is a significant problem for us as we age and is often undiagnosed, leading to serious falls, morbidity and even death. The project gathers evidence on the prevalence of sarcopenia across multiple health services in addition to establishing a biobank of blood and muscle/skin samples. This will help researchers better understand loss of muscle mass to address sarcopenia through interventions and educational programs for healthcare professionals.

Integrating Osteoporosis in Primary Care: The Osteoporosis Risk and Management (ORMA) Project 

Professor Gustavo Duque

By 2022, it is estimated that 6.2 million Australians older than 50 years of age will have osteoporosis or osteopenia, a rise of 31% from 2012.  The ORMA Project will simplify the process for GPs to efficiently and earlier identify patients who may be at risk of osteoporotic fractures. In addition, the program will facilitate efficient management of individuals already diagnosed with the disease. 

Preventing post-stroke dementia and brain atrophy with exercise: The Post Ischaemic Stroke Cardiovascular Exercise Study (PISCES)

A/Professor Amy Brodtmann

 Vascular brain burden is the greatest determinant of late-life cognition. People with stroke, heart disease and diabetes are at increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, yet are usually excluded from most intervention studies. This study will examine whether a cardiac-rehabilitation style exercise intervention will preserve brain volume and cognition in this high-risk population. 

Physical Activity in Aged Mental Health Services: Physical activity guidelines implementation for aged mental health community team consumers 

Professor Nicola Lautenschlager

 Vascular brain burden is the greatest determinant of late-life cognition. People with stroke, heart disease and diabetes are at increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, yet are usually excluded from most intervention studies. This study will examine whether a cardiac-rehabilitation style exercise intervention will preserve brain volume and cognition in this high-risk population. 

Mapping of ageing and aged care expertise across the MACH network and development of plain English articles translating research outcomes and recommendations for consumers

Care of the Ageing Subcommittee

 Vascular brain burden is the greatest determinant of late-life cognition. People with stroke, heart disease and diabetes are at increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, yet are usually excluded from most intervention studies. This study will examine whether a cardiac-rehabilitation style exercise intervention will preserve brain volume and cognition in this high-risk population. 

Members

 
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Professor Andrea Maier

Chair

Personalised care is determining the biological age, the pace somebody ages, and personalized interventions to slow down the ageing process and therewith the onset of age-related diseases will revolutionize health care.

Professor Ashley Bush

Deputy Chair

Personalised medicine is an emphasis of much of my neurodegenerative disease research involving fluid biomarkers, multimodal neuroimaging and neurogenetics in population cohorts such as the Rush Memory and Aging Project, the Swedish BioFinder project, the Alzheimer’s disease Neuroimaging Initiative, the Healthy Brain Project, and AIBL.

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Dr Frances Batchelor

Personalised medicine involves tailoring interventions and care to the needs and preferences and/or goals of the older person. It means understanding the environmental, personal and psychosocial context of the person as this will influence their capacity to take up and/or access interventions and recommendations.

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A/Professor Amy Brodtmann

What does personalised medicine look like in healthy brain aging and cognitive disorders? It means the identification of risk factors for dementia and the development of individualised plans to maintain brain health. It means the identification of accurate biomarkers for early dementia diagnosis and the development of novel treatments, both drug and lifestyle modification, to prevent neurodegeneration. It means supporting patients and their communities throughout the dementia journey.

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Professor Gustavo Duque

Personalised care is the multi-dimensional assessment of the patient to identify specific risk factors and co-morbidities aimed to design a tailored care plan that addresses the specific needs and goals of the individual.

Dr Barbara Hayes

Personalised medicine takes into account the illness experience as well as the bio-medical issues.  It requires a partnership between the clinicians and the person, bringing together the medical knowledge with the person's knowledge of what is important to them.  It evaluates the medical realities of the person's health issues, which are then considered by the person in the context of their own preferences and values, resulting in a management plan that is well-understood and to which the person consents.

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Professor Mingguang He

Prof Mingguang He has been working on a project to offer enhanced personalised care for patients using artificial intelligence and colour fundus photographs to build automated screening services for eye diseases, in which he collected 200,000 images which were clinically labelled to develop a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) deep learning system for five common eye conditions (diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular oedema, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and cataract). He translates this into a web-based software to provide opportunistic screening in GP clinics and diagnostic assistance for endocrinology clinics.

For more information about the MACH 'Care of the Ageing' committee's priorities and activities, please address your query to MACH Senior Project Officer,

Nick Walsh: nick.walsh@unimelb.edu.au

ABOUT US

MACH is an NHMRC recognised Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

The mission of MACH is to improve health and wellbeing by integrating medical research, education and clinical care.

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