2022 closes the formal funded period for Silver Sante Study but the work continues thanks to new additional funding

The Silver Santé Study reaches the end of its official European funded period on 31st March 2022, more than six years since it began in January 2016, but follow up testing with study participants and analysis continues thanks to additional funding provided by the “Label d’Excellence” from Région Normandie. 

The project is the longest ever study of both meditation and foreign language learning and is the first research programme to examine the emotional aspects of ageing and mental health.

Two clinical trials were established and conducted by the Study’s expert researchers in six European countries, assessing the impact of brain training techniques and lifestyle changes on the mental health and well-being of older adults.  Over 280 individuals participated in the two studies, made up of 147 patients with existing subjective cognitive decline, 137 healthy members of the general public over the age of 65 and 27 expert meditators have been successfully recruited by our project partners.

Investigations over the course of the study have enabled the study’s researchers to test whether mindfulness improves cognition in older adults and if meditation could help reduce age-related brain changes as well as cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  Furthermore, our expert researchers have successfully created and implemented a novel task to measure brain activations related to carry-over effects of negative feelings to periods of rest; validated a short questionnaire to measure compassion for others and illustrated the positive benefits of physical activity and meditation on brain health as we age. Further research on the impact restrictions imposed by Covid-19 and specifically the effects on emotional resilience between lockdowns in older adults has also been undertaken.  Psycho-affective factors such as sleep, physical activity and self-reflection have also been considered.

Throughout the project, Silver Santé Study researchers have shared their knowledge, research and expertise attending high profile international public events including the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), as well as hosting and co-organizing events with other projects, including the ‘Brain health across the lifespan’ public conference in November 2019.

Additional analysis and follow up testing will continue past the project’s official end to further efforts in this important area of research.

The project’s coordinator, Dr Gael Chetelat explains: “Our experts are committed to continuing research to further all efforts to improve the mental health of our population and to mitigate the risk of developing mental health conditions such as dementia.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed to our study including the partner institutions, postgraduate student researchers, all our trial volunteers, expert meditators, and language teachers.  Their input has been invaluable.”

Further results and research papers are expected to be published over the coming months. Keep up to date with the latest developments by signing up for our newsletter and following our social media channels on Twitter and Linked In.

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