Ageing with elegans: a research proposal to map healthspan pathways

Abstract

Human longevity continues to increase world-wide, often accompanied by decreasing birth rates. As a larger fraction of the population thus gets older, the number of people suffering from disease or disability increases dramatically, presenting a major societal challenge. Healthy ageing has therefore been selected by EU policy makers as an important priority (http://www.healthyageing.eu/european-policies-and-initiatives); it benefits not only the elderly but also their direct environment and broader society, as well as the economy. The theme of healthy ageing figures prominently in the Horizon 2020 programme (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/health-demographic-change-and-wellbeing), which has launched several research and innovation actions (RIA), like “Understanding health, ageing and disease: determinants, risk factors and pathways” in the work programme on “Personalising healthcare” (https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/693-phc-01-2014.html). Here we present our research proposal entitled “ageing with elegans” (AwE) (http://www.h2020awe.eu/), funded by this RIA, which aims for better understanding of the factors causing health and disease in ageing, and to develop evidence-based prevention, diagnostic, therapeutic and other strategies. The aim of this article, authored by the principal investigators of the 17 collaborating teams, is to describe briefly the rationale, aims, strategies and work packages of AwE for the purposes of sharing our ideas and plans with the biogerontological community in order to invite scientific feedback, suggestions, and criticism.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Dr. Iesel Van der Plancken, Dr. Daniel Ramón, and Dr. Steven Van Vooren for critical comments on the AwE proposal, and Dr. Geert Depuydt and Brecht Wouters (KU Leuven) for help with finalising the manuscript. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant agreement No 633589. This publication reflects only the authors’ views and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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Correspondence to Walter Luyten.

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Luyten, W., Antal, P., Braeckman, B.P. et al. Ageing with elegans: a research proposal to map healthspan pathways. Biogerontology 17, 771–782 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10522-016-9644-x

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Keywords

  • Healthspan
  • Longevity Nutraceuticals
  • Medicinal plants
  • Natural products
  • Caenorhabditis elegans