A team of UC Irvine researchers was given $7 million by the National Institute on Aging to conduct research on individuals 90 years old and above in a project entitled the “90-Plus Study.”
The project, headed by Professors of Neurology Claudia Kawas and Maria Corrada-Bravo and Visiting Researcher Annlia Paganini Hill, began in an attempt to investigate what has become America’s largest-ever population, as individuals are living longer due to the slew of medical advancements over the past century. According to Paganini Hill, this is a population that will continue to grow over the next several decades.
“Currently numbering two million, by 2050 about 10 million Americans will [be] 90 plus [years old]. The striking increase in the number of these oldest-old presents a public health challenge to promote the quality as well as the quantity of life,” Paganini Hill said.
According to Kawas, although there was nothing scientifically significant about the exact age, the number 90 was chosen because very few researchers choose to study people so advanced in age.
“I could have drawn the number at almost any place. I chose 90 though because very few people have studied people 90, 100 and above. Most people who study aging sort of seem to teeter out at around 85 or so,” Kawas said.
Among the work that will be conducted in the study is researching causes of dementia. According to Kawas, unlike other ailments, dementia