NCHA research focuses on:
1) Identification and characterization of genes and pathways that contribute to the presence or absence of disease at old age;
2) Identification of environmental influences (such as food, drug use and physical activity) on these pathways that lower disease risk and promote healthy ageing;
3) Exploring medical, economical and societal applications of interventions to maximize the health span of older citizens.
Main research areas:
NCHA seeks to identify determinants of the variation in human longevity, morbidity and mortality. We hope to associate genetic variation to the longevity related phenotypes such as disease free, healthy and exceptional survival.
NCHA aims to uncover the contribution of genetic variation to atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease in the community. We want to assess effect modification of selected genetic variants by environmental factors and to study the relation of genetic variants with phenotypic characteristics. We will try to clarify the function of the genes involved in coronary heart disease.
NCHA investigates the genetic variation that explains the variation in cognitive performance, the underlying brain structure and function. We want to identify the biological pathways involved in maintenance or loss of cognitive function (with dementia as a well known example of cognitive decline).
NCHA analyzes genetic variants for association to clinical symptoms, X-ray features, risk factors and comprehensive biochemical markers of ostheoartritis and osteoporosis, and to the absence of risk parameters. We will also functionally characterize identified loci on genes for their influence on bone and cartilage development, maintenance and ageing.
Whenever possible, NCHA tries to integrate the data of the different reseach lines under the headings Mobility and Metabolism.
Read more about our vision, approach and strenghts in
Adding Healthy Years to the Human Lifespan
Young researchers in NCHA are interviewed by journalist Masja de Ree. Download this booklet (pdf) ►
The secret of longevity
Interview with a member of a long-
lived family in the Leiden Longevity
Study read more
Interview with his partner in the
Leiden Longevity Study