Course catalogue doctoral education - VT21

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Title Application of Epidemiological Methods in Aging Research
Course number 3131
Programme Epidemiologi
Language English
Credits 1.5
Date 2021-04-26 -- 2021-04-30
Responsible KI department Institutionen för neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle
Specific entry requirements Knowledge equivalent to ""Epidemiology I: Introduction to epidemiology"", ""Biostatistics I: Introduction for epidemiologists"" or corresponding courses.
Purpose of the course The aim of the course is to critically review epidemiological methods with applications to aging research. An increasing share of the population in our countries lives to very advanced age. This calls for a better understanding of the ageing process, identifying possible preventive and treatment strategies to ensure that these extra years of life gained through increased longevity are spent in good health. Geriatric epidemiology approaches these challenges by studying the health and functional status of older populations throughout the entire life span.
Intended learning outcomes After completion of the course, you as a student should be able to:
(1) Discuss the pros and cons of different analytic approaches used in geriatric epidemiology, and the possible sources of bias linked to each of these approaches.
(2) Reason about the challenges in the definition, measurement and clinical assessment of chronic diseases and multimorbidity.
(3) Explain the main methods to measure physical function, as well as its contribution to the multidimensional health assessment in older people.
(4) Depict the clinical aspects as well as risk and protective factors for dementia and cognitive decline from a life course perspective.
(5) Describe the main determinants of healthy aging and longevity, with a special focus on biological and genetic markers of human aging.
Contents of the course This one-week course will cover the basics of geriatric epidemiology and the critical appraisal of different study designs used in the field. It will also describe the fundamental dimensions of health in older age (chronic physical and mental diseases, physical function and frailty, and cognitive function) and the challenges linked to their measurement and assessment. Last, the main determinants of aging and longevity will be introduced from the perspective of their applicability in research and clinical practice.
Each theoretical session will be followed by practical sessions related to methodological challenges in each corresponding area. The practical sessions will take place in the afternoons.
Teaching and learning activities The course is built on brief state-of-art lectures followed by different activities where doctoral students will be asked to put into practice and critically reflect upon the acquired knowledge. The proactive participation of the student will be pursued through group discussions, individual presentations, in-class quizzes, and the critical assessment of selected studies.

Compulsory elements The individual examination (summative assessment) is compulsory.
Examination To pass the course, the student has to show that the learning outcomes have been achieved. Assessments methods used are group assignments (formative assessments) along with an individual home examination (summative assessment). Students who do not obtain a passing grade in the first examination will be offered a second chance to resubmit the examination within two months of the final day of the course.
Literature and other teaching material Suggested reading:
(1) Marengoni A, et al. Aging with multimorbidity: a systematic review of the literature. Ageing Res Rev. 2011 Sep;10(4):430-9.
(2) Clegg A, et al. Frailty in elderly people. Lancet. 2013 Mar 2;381(9868):752-62.
(3) Solomon A, et al. Advances in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. J Intern Med. 2014 Mar;275(3):229-50.
(4) Rizzuto D, et al. Lifestyle factors related to mortality and survival: a mini-review. Gerontology. 2014;60(4):327-35.
(5) López-Otín C, et al. The Hallmarks of Aging. Cell. 2013 Jun 6; 153(6): 1194–1217.
Number of students 8 - 25
Selection of students Eligible doctoral students will be prioritized according to 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant’s doctoral project (according to written information), 2) date for registration as a doctoral student (priority given to earlier registration date). To be considered, submit a completed application form. Give all information requested, including a short description of current research training and motivation for attending, as well as an account of previous courses taken.
More information The course is arranged in collaboration between the Epidemiology and Neuroscience Programmes, see­programmes.
Additional course leader
Latest course evaluation Course evaluation report
Course responsible Amaia Calderon Larrañaga
Institutionen för neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle
Contact person Debora Rizzuto
Institutionen för neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle

Amaia Calderon Larrañaga
Institutionen för neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle