Ageing is the greatest challenge that health-care systems will have to deal with this century. This is because a wide spectrum of pathological impairments emerge in the later part of the human life course which sharply increase mortality and reduce quality of life. Dysfunction of the immune system with advancing age is of crucial importance to the development of disability in later life and finally death. Understanding immune ageing, immunosenescence, has long been recognised as an essential prerequisite for the delivery of effective interventions which will improve late life health. Ten years ago, the ImAginE consortium undertook a broad ranging series of projects which added significantly to our understanding of how fundamental ageing mechanisms drove immune decline. In the decade which followed, abundant evidence has accumulated from nonhuman model systems that ageing results from the progressive operation of a relatively few common processes which act across the major organ systems. These advances in fundamental understanding both allow better clarification of the potential cross-system dysregulation that occurs in ageing and open new avenues for intervention. Over the course of a 2-day workshop, the original ImAginE participants have considered these issues and present some suggestions for current priority areas in immunosenescence.
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- School of Applied Sciences - Professor of Biogerontology
- Centre for Precision Health and Translational Medicine
- Centre for Lifelong Health