A major seminar hosted by the University of Birmingham will look at how ongoing research can help people maintain good health in old age.

The one day seminar on April 7th will look at some of most significant health problems for older people including recovery after suffering stroke or brain injury, developing exercise programmes for older people and understanding why our immune systems run down as we age. 

The seminar at the University’s School of Psychology will bring together a number of leading experts in ageing to discuss what can be done to improve our health as we get older.

Professor Janet Lord comments: “Older people are still neglected in research, although this has improved in recent years. There is too often an assumption that ill health is an inevitable part of getting older , but this doesn’t have to be the case.

‘Many of the projects being discussed here today are tackling some of the key health issue we face as we get older – like motor skills, and why our bodies recover less well after injury in later life. We would welcome older people and those who work with them to attend the event to find out how we can work together.”

SPARC (Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity) was established in 2005 to provide a platform for ongoing research into ageing, as well as to encourage newcomers into the field. The organisation particularly focuses on working in partnership with older people and organisations which represent the interests of older people.

Professor Glyn Humphreys, who examines  how the brain rehabilitates after injury adds: “As the UK population is getting older it is important that we put an increasing emphasis on research into ageing.

‘In recent years there have been great improvements in rehabilitating patients after they suffer a stroke or brain injury, but like all these areas there is much more work to be done.”

To register for the event or to view the programme visit the website:



SPARC (Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity)5 is funded by EPSRC and BBSRC which was established in 2005 to extend the previous remit of the EQUAL Network. SPARC is designed specifically to provide a platform, publicity and policy representation for existing researchers and to encourage newcomers into ageing research. A key aspect of its activities is working in partnership with the users of research - older people and those organisations which represent the interests of older people and which provide older people and their carers with services, advice and other support. As well as organising workshops SPARC is providing 34 pump-priming awards to newcomers to ageing research in the fields of design, engineering and biology

For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.