You are here:  > Funded Research > Research Support Given the demographic trend in most developed countries to a significant and ongoing increase in the proportion and number of the older people in the population, one would expect that this would be matched by a similar growth in the number of people studying ageing and pursuing research into the ageing phenomena. However, there are certain barriers that tend to restrain the choice of ageing as a popular field of study for postgraduate research students. This may in part be due to: The lack of knowledge about ageing and its essential role Limited opportunities for faculty to develop courses in ageing Students may perceive that pursuing coursework in other medical fields is more challenging and interesting Perhaps higher potential financial returns and status in other medical research work To dispel any perceived lack of significance in studying ageing AAAI is active in the role of supporting, improving and encouraging the education of students seeking to research the phenomena of ageing and disorders of ageing. This is achieved by attracting young researchers to pursue post graduate work in the various disciplines that our academic and professional staff conduct.  In 2011 four students completed their PhD studies and another fourteen were working toward completion in 2012. Their research work encompasses most of the major ageing research areas, including; clinical medicine, biological sciences, social and behavioural sciences, and epidemiology of ageing. Examples of AAAI’s support for young researchers:  - Prevalence and treatment of osteoporosis in older Australian men: findings from the CHAMP study Kerrin Bleicher's PhD research examined the risk factors for fractures in older men and uses data from 1705 men involved in the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP). She looked at prevalence of osteoporosis, the determinants for bone mineral density and sarcopenia (muscle loss) and the relationships between these variables. This information is important because most osteoporosis research has focussed on post-menopausal women yet osteoporotic fractures in elderly men are associated with increased morbidity, more functional decline, higher mortality and increased health costs compared to women. The aim of the research was to determine the proportion of older men in the Australian population who meet the Government's (PBS) criteria for osteoporosis treatment and the proportion on effective treatment. The results showed that while almost 25% of the older men in the study met PBS criteria for specific osteoporosis treatment, predominantly by having pre-existing vertebral deformities. Less than 10% of eligible men were on treatment and 10% were aware they had osteoporosis, indicating osteoporosis was under diagnosed and under treated. Accordingly, there is a need for public health strategies to improve awareness, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in older Australian men.    - A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial Utilizing the Drug Burden Index to Reduce Exposure to Anticholinergic  and Sedative Medications in Older People Research work by Dr Danijela Gnjidic has shown that older NSW men risk becoming prematurely frail because they are taking a dangerously high number of medications. What this study is showing is if you are using five or more drugs it is not good for you, and if you are using 10 or more it is even worse,  The results show that more than 42% of men aged over 70 were taking a risky number of medications, with nearly 5% taking 10 or more different drugs. Taking the medications meant they were about two times more likely than others their age to become frail over the two years of the study, which followed more than 1660 men.  Dr Danijela Gnjidic’s research work is examining the risk factor that older men face when taking too many prescribed medications; this risk is that they may become prematurely frail. What this study is showing is if you are using five or more drugs it is not good for you, and if you are using 10 or more it is even worse. Initial results show that more than 42 per cent of men aged over 70 were taking a risky number of medications, with nearly 5 per cent taking 10 or more different drugs. Among the 1600 men in the study, those taking multiple medications are about 2 times more likely than others of similar age to become frail over two years.Commonly taken drugs such as sedatives could have important benefits, but these tended only to be from short-term use and older people often used them for long periods. The health risks to older people taking several drugs could be that the drugs interact and cause problems such as memory loss or falls. Most studies into how drugs worked and their side-effects tended to be conducted in much younger people.  - Geometric Framework and Nutrition in Ageing This study undertaken by Samantha Solon-Biet has upturned our understanding of nutrition and the ageing process.  The work has shown that low protein, high carbohydrate diets maximise latelife health and longevity.  Samantha was awarded her PhD in 2014 and led the publication in the leading US journal, Cell Metabolism. Research Support