On the 24th of December 2020, the University carried out the “Active Ageing: Medical Aspects” conference which was aimed at expanding interdisciplinary interaction in solving urgent problems of "silver" age patients, approaches of evidence-based medicine helping aging people to stay active as long as possible. The conference was held online due to the pandemic.
Researchers and neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists from all regions of Russia, international specialists in modern systemic biomedicine and algology took part in the work of the scientific and practical conference. The event brought together over 1200 participants from 30 cities of Russia and the world (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Cherepovets, Izhevsk, Kazan, Arkhangelsk, Dnepr, Ivanovo, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Vladikavkaz, Donetsk, Rostov-on-Don, Tyumen, Krasnodar, Orenburg, Belgorod, Tomsk, Kaliningrad, Smolensk, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Simferopol, Volgograd, Yakutsk, Biysk, Kerch, Sochi, Pskov, Norilsk), including leading researchers, heads of medical institutions, students and teachers of the university.
Within the framework of the conference, participants discussed modern approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases, problems of cognitive disorders and issues of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as current issues of psychoneurology, treatment, and rehabilitation for vascular disease in neurology, peripheral nervous system diseases and pain syndromes of the elderly, prevention of cardiovascular disease and many more topics for discussion.
The opening speeches were delivered by Prof.Dr. N.G. Neznanov, director of the Bekhterev Research Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology and by Prof. Dr. Alexandr Fedorov, Rector of the IKBFU.
Prof.Dr. Nikolay Neznanov:
“The topic of the conference is extremely important nowadays. Increasing the life expectancy has been set as one of the priority national projects of our country. Not only specialists working in the field of medicine, but also a fairly wide range of other specialists - sociologists, ethnographers, ethnologists, geneticists - are interested in this problem. Today we will focus more on medical problems. I believe this is very important because the pandemic factor introduces additional problems concerning not only the increase in life expectancy but also the preservation of life in these difficult conditions. I am grateful to the organizers of the conference, who in such a short period of time were able to attract leading domestic and international specialists to participate in the event. I hope that the conference will be useful for all of us and we will be able to find solutions to some problems for those solutions to be implemented later in practice”.
Prof. Dr. Alexandr Fedorov:
“The problem we overview at the conference today has increasingly growing importance to civilization as a whole. One of the main pillars of the IKBFU philosophy is to ensure the convention of generations, and the idea of staying active even in old age is the sturdy foundation of this pillar. I would like to quote a piece from “Active Longevity Policy concept”: “By 2030 Russian life expectancy must constitute 80 years, while the active and healthy period of life is planned to reach only 67 years”. You see that even in the best-case scenario a person will have to suffer from various diseases for the last 13 years of his\her lifetime. Thus today we work hard to improve this ratio. The project launched today, I believe, will become powerful research and practice-oriented construct. The concept of "Active Longevity" provides for many different directions, including lifelong education, strengthening cultural and intergenerational ties, and much, much more. The most important aspect of the task of preserving an active lifestyle in old age is a person’s health, or more precisely, health care. I say "aspect," but it is actually a whole set of interrelated activities, including direct medicine, preventive measures, health promotion, but most importantly, the introduction of new technologies, such as translational or telemedicine, into the field of geriatric healthcare. And at this conference, we will discuss some approaches to addressing such issues”.
Within the framework of the conference, Prof.Dr. N.G. Neznanov, director of the Bekhterev Research Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology presented his report “Lifestyle illnesses” in which he described how prevention of diseases and a person’s responsibility helps to avoid many health problems in the silver age.
Prof. R. Balling, director of the Center for Systems Biomedicine at the University of Luxembourg in the report “Is Parkinson the diabetes of the brain?” compared Parkinson's disease to diabetes by several characteristics that the diseases have in common. This unusual way to review the illnesses has caused a vivid discussion among the conference participants.
Prof. R. Krueger, head of the clinical department of the Center for Systems Biomedicine at the University of Luxembourg introduced a progressive national programme: “Precision Prevention for Dementia - a nationwide integrated care program for individuals at risk”, aimed at preventing the risk of dementia in people at risk.
Also, a joint report "Challenges for pain management in elderly patients" by Prof. G.M. Berger, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of clinical anesthesiology at Keck School of Medicine (USA), and V.L. Zelman the member of the International Advisory Board of the IKBFU, Head of the Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Professor, Emeritus Member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences was delivered to the participants. They spoke about the main problems and features of pain management in elderly patients in clinical conditions.
Prof. Dr. I.A. Voznyuk, Deputy Director for Research of the State Institution Saint-Petersburg Research Institute of Emergency Care delivered his report “Stroke and mortality” that was focused on the alarming statistics for this group of diseases, which is the second most frequent cause of death after coronary heart disease. Understanding the magnitude of the problem is critical to adequately allocating resources to address it.
Prof. Dr. A.I. Fedin, Head of the Department of Neurology, FDPO RSMU, Moscow presented his report: "Aging and cognitive functions. Adaptive Capabilities”. The speaker explained how human brain functions differ with age and how a brain’s adaptive mechanisms may compensate for this change preserving a person’s cognitive abilities.
The participants also listened to Prof. Dr. A.A. Skoromets, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with his report "Left-handedness and Ageing" in which he spoke about mechanisms of longevity.
Prof. Dr. G.I. Nechaeva, professor of the Department of Internal Medicine and Family Medicine of Omsk State Medical University, chief specialist of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation for OVP SFD delivered a statistical analysis by WHO according to which 71% of deaths in the world caused by chronic non-infectious disease in her work “Programs of prevention of chronic non-infectious diseases, patients' ability to self-help for a long quality life”. She also mentioned how important it is for people to be responsible for their own health.
Also, V. Tashlykov, senior physician of the Pain Management Institute of Sheba Medical Center (Ramat Gan, Israel), presented his report: "Modern methods of chronic pain syndrome control". The current state of clinical medicine is no less interesting than promising health science, and given the importance of chronic pain relief in maintaining a high quality of life for elderly patients, this paper was an important complement to those presented earlier in this conference.
Prof. Dr. R.F. Nasyrova, Prof. Dr. N.A. Schneider, and Prof. Dr. N.G. Neznanov from the V.M. Bekhterev Research Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology (St. Petersburg) presented a report “Translational Medicine: From Theory to Practice”. In the report, they spoke about the current state in, translational medicine, its prospects, and the progress achieved in this field.
The closing report "Vaccine Prophylaxis as a Key Factor in Active Longevity" was presented by Prof. Dr. N. V. Skrinchenko, Deputy Director of Research at the Federal State Budgetary Institution of the Russian Federal Medical and Biological Agency. The aim of the report was to prove the importance of vaccines to healthcare and longevity.
The conference was closed by the participants’ discussion.
Maxim Demin, IKBFU Vice-rector for Science:
“Health care is a priority strategic task for our region. Not treatment, but preventive medicine, early diagnoses, and innovative methods of prevention. And the development of this area in our region is only possible through the closest interaction between the research and applied medicine. This is the main task and the key position of the Federal University in this context. It is research and the incorporation of the results into the real medical process for the benefit of our residents. We all understand that death is an intrinsic attribute of life, but old age should not become synonymous with death: professional, social, legal - none! And I believe that in the long run, our actions will make it possible to ensure that the term "old age", if not disappear completely from our vocabulary, then at least be applied only to those people, who, staying in conditions of quality geriatric care, spend the last year or two of their life in comfort, without pain, not worrying about the financial and social situation of their descendants and feeling not the burden of years lived, but the satisfaction from the fulfilled life destiny”.