Division of Aging Research Center (ARC)
The division of Aging Research Center is a part of the larger Aging Research Center (ARC), which is a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.
Please visit the ARC external website for more information on our research areas, researchers, collaborators, longitudinal studies, publications and news.
Head of Division
Deputy Head of Division
ARC has moved to the Widerström building!
Aging Research Center
Tomtebodavägen 18 A
SE-171 77 Stockholm
Tomtebodavägen 18 A , The Widerström Building, floor 9 and 10
Read more in the ARC biennial report 2015-2016.
Longevity, morbidity, and functioning
Despite its intrinsic positive nature, the aging of the population poses challenging questions, such as how we can achieve not only longer but also healthier lives. Our goal is to increase knowledge regarding the complex picture of health in older adults, to describe their health status, and to monitor health trajectories during aging. We take many dimensions of health into account, including medical conditions, medication, perceived health, physical functioning, mobility, and well-being.
We believe older people’s health is the result of complex interactions between lifestyle, social, environmental, genetic, and biological factors. The challenge now is to understand the interplay between these multiple factors and health over the whole life span. ARC uses information from our own and other large databases to provide evidence that can help improve health in old age.
Treatment and care of older persons
ARC’s researhers in geriatric pharmacoepidemiology aim to understand and improve drug treatment in older people. The research focuses on the quality and inequality of older people's drug therapy, drug treatment in persons with dementia and monitor drug use over time. We develop analytical methods for studying drug use and for reviewing drug treatment in older patients. We also contribute to the development of indicators for assessing the quality of drug use and out IT-solutions help prescribers to make optimal decisions. We collaborate closely with the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare.
We develop analytical methods for studying drug use and for reviewing drug treatment in older patients. We contribute to the development of indicators for assessing the quality of drug use, and our IT-solutions helping prescribers to make optimal decisions.
Researchers at ARC study older people's need for health and social care services, and how these needs are met. We are interested in the social policy implications of increasing longevity and related developments in ill-health and complex health problems in very old people. For example, we investigate how these developments affect future needs for health and social care services and family caregiving.
Health trends and inequality
Using national registers and nationally representative studies, ARC researchers investigate whether older people are healthier now than in the past. In other words, we try to understand whether older people are living more years in good health or more years with disease and disability. We use various measures of health, including diagnosed diseases, symptoms and disabilities. In addition, we examine older people's physical and mental function and their ability to carry out everyday activities, all of which are important to care needs.
Social determinants of health and longevity are central to researchers at ARC. Opportunities and circumstances in life are not equal for everyone, and such inequalities affect health and longevity. We explore how gender, socioeconomic position, and living conditions during people’s entire lives affect health and mortality risks in old age. We also study how these effects have changed over time.
People’s individual cognitive capabilities differ, and differences widen as people age. At ARC, we focus on understanding the reasons for these differences. Why do some 80-year-olds have better memory than 35-year-olds? Why do some people maintain a youthful brain but others develop dementia? How does behavior over the life course affect brain changes? Is it possible to slow, stop, or reverse cognitive decline by mental and/or physical training or changes in diet? Our research focuses on whether mental training can modify cognitive performance in old age. How does the brain achieve such behavioral effects? How can training-related changes in behavior be improved by non-invasice brain stimulation and pharmacology?
Several factors typically interact to cause faster cognitive decline and dementia, and some factors can protect against cognitive deterioration. We use SNAC-K and other large databases to study the impact of multiple factors. Collaborating in the CAIDE and HARMONY studies enables us to investigate how risks accumulate over the entire life course. Our research focuses on vascular factors like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; lifestyle factors like diet, physical education, smoking, alcohol use, and leisure activities; socio-emotional factors like stress, depressice feelings, and social networks; and genetic factors.
ARC participates in the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER), one of the first intervention studies attempting to postpone dementia by modifying a wide range of risk factors at the same time.
af Jochnick Center for the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging
The af Jochnick Center for the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging is made possible by a donation from the af Jochnick Foundation. Researchers at the center investigate the neural underpinnings of aging-related changes in cognitive functions (e.g.,working memory, episodic memory, and processing speed).
We place special focus on how losses of various dopamine markers relate to cognitive deficits in old age.
We are particularly interested in how dopamine changes across the adult life span relate to other age-related brain changes, including grey- and white-matter losses, alterations in functional connectivity, and cognitive problems in late life. Additionally, we are interested in how individuals may counteract age-related brain changes through a physically, mentally, and socially active lifestyle.