Interventions to reduce the burden
of age-related diseases, disorders and disabilities

Leader: Carlo​ Ferrarese, UNIMIB
Co-Leader: Alberto Pilotto, UNIBA


Spoke Themes

This Spoke addresses the multifactorial aetiologies of age-related disabilities and disorders with multicomponent clinical and technological interventions, targeting several risk factors simultaneously. It will design multidomain interventions to promote active ageing and prevent functional and cognitive decline in older populations in different Italian regions and settings (home, hospital, long-term care facilities), including their deep phenotyping through genotyping, biomarkers, omics and analysis of environmental factors. The Spoke will rely on technological and Artificial Intelligence developments integrated within the Age-It consortium, still adopting a problem-/clinical-oriented approach.


Activities are organised in six WPs, both horizontal (focused on three settings of multicomponent interventions; WP 1 to 3), and vertical (data collection and analytics, technologies, and cost-effectiveness; WP4 to 6).


Medicine (neurology, geriatrics, nephrology, ORL), neuroscience, neuropsychology, computer science, genetics, bioengineering, biostatistics, economics. 

Work Packages

Prof. Alberto Pilotto, UNIBA

WP1 aims to: 1) analyse observational data from large studies in order to identify the multicomponent interventions that are effective to promote healthy ageing and to prevent functional and cognitive decline in community-dwelling older people, stratified according to a multidimensional phenotypic approach and biological risk; 2) explore prospectively the efficacy of multicomponent intervention to prevent functional and cognitive decline by developing personalized multi-component interventions.

Prof. Giuseppe Bellelli, BICOCCA

WP2 aims to: 1) identify from meta-analyses the risk factors and the multicomponent interventions that are effective to prevent the functional and cognitive decline in hospitalised older patients; 2) implement technological solutions at the hospital wards in order to improve the liveability and safety of the environment; 3) improve the management of polypharmacy and counteract its risks among hospitalized older patients; 4) identify the personalised multicomponent interventions to counteract the functional and cognitive decline in hospitalised older patients.

Prof. Stefania Maggi, CNR

In WP3, a trial will be developed, with the aim to assess the effects of multicomponent interventions, including physical exercise and cognitive training administered through the use of new technologies (apps, wearable devices, and so forth), dietary intervention using functional foods targeted to older individuals, and vaccines administration, according to the National Immunization Plan, among institutionalized older adults. The overall objective is to effectively decrease the transition from frailty to disability to total dependence in the long-term care residents.

Prof. Francesca Gasparini, UNIMIB

An ICT system will be designed in WP4 to collect, manage and analyse data from multicomponent interventions on different cohorts of older people. This system will be designed in order to manage acquisition, integration, access and data sharing and to perform tasks such as data retrieving, querying, mining, statistics analysis and predictions based on AI models. The system design will take into account a central database, where all relevant data will be stored and managed, and data hubs where data from multicomponent interventions will be collected

Prof. Francioso, CNR

The activities to be performed in WP5 will make use of Key Enabling Technologies and will take into account the input from previous WPs to develop innovative smart technological products and solutions in the three different settings, easily adaptable to older people’s functionalities, to help older people in daily activities, and to evaluate progress of their physical and cognitive decline. This allows to identify specific challenges for early diagnosis, objective evaluation, therapy control, monitoring and rehabilitation.

Prof. Febo Cincotti, SAPIENZA

WP6 aims to build on data collections and analyses conducted in the previous WPs to generate knowledge useful for: policymakers who must allocate rationally resources in the NHS; health managers who are interested in implementing innovative practices and technologies; company managers who wish to innovate the market; health professionals looking for authoritative and comprehensive training; the general public who may be in need of the interventions. WP6 will work in close collaboration with Spoke 10.

Key Outputs

  • Identification form literature analysis of the biomarkers to stratify older subjects and of multicomponent interventions effective in preventing functional and cognitive decline.
  • Protocols of multicomponent interventions to promote healthy ageing in community-dwelling subjects and to improve the management of older patients in the hospital and in long-term care facilities.
  • Guidelines for managing multicomponent interventions to promote healthy ageing and to improve the management of older patients in the hospital and in long-term care facilities.
  • Raccomandazioni sulla gestione dei dati e sull’interoperabilità in setting domiciliare, ospedaliero e di lungodegenza 
  • Prototypes of technological products for older people helping in routinary activities evaluating possible physical and cognitive decline and the effects of multicomponent interventions.
  • Policy brief on how to allocate and manage resources to improve care to older people and to train healthcare professionals
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