Research projects

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Looking in the right places to prevent stair falls in older adults

When and where someone looks, their level of confidence and visual cues in the environment around them all play a part in navigating stairs safely. Professor Mark Hollands and Dr Neil Thomas, from Liverpool John Moores University, used state-of-the-art sensor and motion capture technology to investigate how we might be able to make staircases safer for older people.

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Spotting dementia earlier in the deaf community using an automated screening tool

Within the older British Sign Language community, dementia can show itself as changes in the way someone signs – but these subtle changes are hard to spot by those who don’t use sign language. Dr Anastasia Angelopoulou and her team have developed an automated machine learning tool that can spot these changes. The tool will help identify the early stages of dementia among older users of sign language – ensuring they get the right support quicker.

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Can ‘brain training’ pass the test? Exploring whether people with dementia can brain train at home

Brain training is a fun and simple intervention to keep minds active in older age. However, there are many unknowns. What benefits does it have on the brain? And can people living with dementia realistically brain train using technology they’re not necessarily familiar with? Dr Lucy Beishon wanted to find out whether people living with dementia can do brain training at home using a computer, and to see if it has potential to bring benefits.

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Skin wounds that won’t heal: can stem cells help where antibiotics can’t?

Skin wounds that won’t heal are a big problem, particularly for older people, and have a big impact on quality of life. However, current treatments and antibiotics aren’t very effective, running the risk of long-term, chronic infection. Professor Phil Stephens and his team are investigating whether packets of bioactive compounds secreted by stem cells could create an anti-microbial environment that will help skin wounds to heal better.

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Using genetic data to understand the causes of age-related macular degeneration

When investigating diseases of ageing and their causes, it can be very difficult, time-consuming and expensive to conduct randomised controlled trials. Instead, Drs Reecha Sofat and Valerie Kuan are using a technique called Mendelian Randomisation to understand the underlying risk factors for the sight loss condition age-related macular degeneration, shedding light on new ideas for prevention and treatment.

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