Madrid Institute for Advanced Study
Keywords: Frail aging, Physical impairment, Cognitive decline, Neural correlates, Brain imaging techniques
Examining the course of physical, cognitive, and neural decline in frail aging
Elena Solesio-Jofre earned her European PhD (Suma Cum Laude) in 2009 from the University Complutense of Madrid (Spain), with a thesis on Aging and Cognitive Neuroscience. Specifically, she examined cognitive and neural deficits in seniors, using brain-imaging techniques. Afterwards, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). There, she studied age-related deficits in motor control. She went back to Madrid in 2014 to work as an Assistant Lecturer at the University Autónoma. Since 2016, she has been a Marie Sk?odowska Curie post-doctoral fellow in this institution. In this regard, she has developed a ground-breaking project, dealing with the interactions between emotions and cognition in aging. Remarkably, this project was awarded as the best Individual European project in 2017. Along with this productive research career, she has extensive experience in teaching and mentoring students from different universities. Although she publishes widely in Geriatrics and Cognitive Neuroscience themed journals and books, she is also very active in public outreach activities.
This project aims to increase the quality of life for the frail elderly, by reinforcing multidisciplinary research between university and hospital. Both normal and pathologic aging have been widely studied in recent decades, with particular emphasis on dementia. However, little is known about certain prodromal conditions, such as “Frailty”. This term refers to a state of vulnerability due to age that leads to falls, disability and even death. A link exists between cognitive and physical domains, yet their exact relationship remains unclear. We will try to give an answer to this complex issue through two main objectives, using a longitudinal approach: 1) We will develop an innovative paradigm in order to disentangle the exact relationship between cognitive and physical decline in the frail elderly and we will identify the underlying neural substrates, using brain imaging techniques, and 2) We will implement a pioneering training programme on physical activity in order to slow down both physical and cognitive deficits in the frail elderly. This original project has high scientific, social and economic impact and will certainly result in relevant return benefits to society.
Artola Balda, G., Errarte, A., Isusquizal, E., Barrenechea, M., Alberdi Aramendi, A., Hernández-Lorca, M., Solesio-Jofre, E. (2019). Aging effects on resting state networks after an emotional memory task. Entropy, 21(4), 411, 1-19. doi:10.3390/e21040411.
Solesio-Jofre, E., Beets, I.A.M., Woolley, D.G., Pauwels, L., Chalavi, S., Mantini, D., Swinnen, S.P. (2018). Age-dependent modulations of resting state connectivity following motor practice. Front Aging Neurosci., 6, 10-25. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00025.
Solesio-Jofre E., López-Frutos., J.M. , Cashdollar, N., Aurtenetxe, S., de Ramón, I., Maestú, F. (2017). The effects of aging on the working memory processes of multi-modal associations. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn., 24(3):299-320. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2016.1207749.
Rueda-Delgado, L., Solesio-Jofre, E., Serrien, D.J., Daffertshofer, A., Swinnen, S.P. (2014) Understanding bimanual coordination across small time scales from an electrophysiological perspective. Neurosci Biobehav Rev., 47:614-35.
Solesio-Jofre, E., Serbruyns, L., Woolley, D., Beets, I.A.M., Mantini, D., Swinnen, S. (2014). Aging effects on the resting state motor network and interlimb coordination. Hum Brain Mapp., 35(8):3945-61. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22450.