Secrets of successful ageing shared in reunion
Almost 300 people reunited to celebrate 20 years of continuous research into healthy ageing.
The reunion brought together research participants, mostly adults in their 80s, and four who are 98-years-old, known as the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936.
In 1932 almost all children living in Scotland and born in 1921 took a test of verbal reasoning that measured their intelligence.
In 1999, some of the eleven-year-old children in 1932, by then older adults in their late 70s living in Edinburgh and the Lothians, were invited by psychologist Professor Ian Deary to participate in a study aiming to chart how peoples’ thinking skills change over their lifetime.
A few years later, in 2004, the invitation was extended to those born in 1936 who sat the same test of verbal reasoning at the age of eleven in 1947.
To mark the anniversary, the participants were invited to a reunion at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
The reunion took place twenty years to the day when the first Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 participant was tested.
The Lothian Birth Cohorts’ data has produced over 500 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles with many insights into healthy ageing through the life course.
The reunion celebrated the participants’ commitment and dedication to science with contributions from the lead scientists – including the Lothian Birth Cohorts’ Director, Professor Ian Deary, and his collaborators.
The reunion was a thank you for the cohorts’ 20 years of faithful contributions, and an opportunity to share our most recent findings. The contribution of the group is invaluable in advancing our understanding of how the brain and thinking skills age, and healthy ageing more generally. I and the team are grateful to, and humbled by, the participants for generosity and enthusiasm for the project.
The project has been funded by the charity Age UK.
Follow the project Twitter @EdinUniLBC