"Gut-brain-axis: Targets for improvement of cognition in the elderly"
The age-related decline in cognitive functions represents a serious social and medical problem. The intestinal microbiome is a key effector in maintaining brain plasticity and therefore represents a promising target and sensor for interventions aimed at improving the cognitive abilities of older people. SmartAge, coordinated by Jena University Hospital, brings together an expert team of scientists from academia and industry such as clinicians, psychologists, nutritionists, neuroscientists, biotechnologists and bioinformaticians. SmartAge will apply a translational approach combining animal and human studies, nutrition and lifestyle interventions, cognitive testing, brain imaging, state-of-the-art OMICS and systems biology, and fecal transfers to identify key regulators of intestinal-brain communication with the aim of developing microbiome-based therapies that slow cognitive decline in old age.
Currently no cure exists to prevent progression from mild cognitive impairments to dementia. Nevertheless, the topic has not sufficiently been addressed in the past and the promising progress in the current microbiome research offers completely new prospects for diagnostics and therapy. Simultaneously there is a great need for specialists in that field. The goal of SmartAge is to improve the quality of life of old people and to save costs in the health system by understanding and exploiting the microbiome as moderator between the gut and the brain especially in their interaction with age and in its impact on cognition. Nutritional and life style interventions will be applied in a translational approach to increase cognitive functions at old age and to identify underlying microbiome associated mechanisms and key regulators.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network
Call (part) identifier H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019
Project number: 859890 SmartAge
Duration of the project:
1 September 2020 - 31 August 2024
11 Beneficiaries from 10 European countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland)