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The Cologne Symposium on Ageing Medicine series has been kicked off in 2016 with the international meeting entitled „From Ageing to Geriatrics“, celebrating at the same time the establishment of the Ageing Clinical Research at the Dpt II of Internal Medicine of the University Hospital of Cologne and the success of the – at that time ongoing – European project „Using the Multidimensional Prognostic Index (MPI) to improve cost-effectiveness of interventions in multimorbid frail older persons“, MPI_AGE. The MPI_AGE was conducted during the Second Programme of Community action in the field of Health launched by the European Union between 2008 and 2013 which funded initiatives aimed at developing a sustainable health monitoring system with mechanisms for collection of comparable data and information, with appropriate indicators; and to provide information to citizens, stakeholders and policy makers. The MPI_AGE research project had originated from this programme, under the assumption that diagnostic and prognostic tools based on a standard Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) could offer relevant additional information on how health care resources can be adapted to complex older patients and how study designs and interventions might become more appropriate, tailored, integrated, and multi-professional, for older vulnerable patients.
The Cologne Symposium „From Ageing to Geriatrics“ was indeed structured in a way that the scientific excellence on ageing mechanisms related to organs and illnesses – kidney, brain, tumors – in the first symposium’s session could be delivered back-to-back to the audience along with the state-of-the-art of personalized medicine of the aged in the second part of the meeting. This unique meeting, first of its kind, was elegantly co-chaired by Professor Stefania Maggi, Geriatrician and Epidemiologist with specific interest in the epidemiology of aging and in the analysis of factors promoting healthy aging in a lifelong approach. Professor Maggi is Research Director at the CNR Aging Branch-Institute of Neuroscience in Padua, Italy, President of the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) 2014-2015, Vice-President of the European Interdisciplinary Council on Aging (EICA), and Editor in Chief of “Aging Clinical and Experimental Research” (Springer). Among the speakers of the 2016 Symposium, Professor Alberto Pilotto, PI of the MPI_AGE Study and Director of the Dpt. Orthogeriatrics, Rehabilitation and Stabilization, Frailty area, E.O. Galliera Hospitals of Genua; Professor Alfonso J. Cruz - Jentoft Director, Director of the Servicio de Geriatría, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Madrid; Prof. Anna-Karin Welmer from the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society and Aging Research Center at Karolinska Institutet.
As of 2017, the Cologne symposia were organized together with the Cardiology Dpt of the University Hospital of Cologne (Professor Baldus and Professor Pfister) and the Geriatrics Clinic of the St. Marienhospital of Cologne (Professor Schulz and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Goede). The 2017 Edition was opened by Professor Bergdolt’s keynote lecture on cognitive disorders in Arts and focused on crucial topics in the management of older adults including Alzheimer’s disease (Professor Jessen, Professor Zieschang), cardiologic problems (Professor Baldus, Professor Pfister), hypertension (Professor Mann), anticoagulation (Professor Denkinger), cancer (Professor Reinhard, Professor Eichhorst). On this occasion, the clinical keynote lecture was given by Professor Cornel Sieber, just elected President of the German Society for Internal Medicine (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin, DGIM) (2017-2018), past President of the German Society for Nutrition Medicine and of the German Geriatrics Society. Professor Sieber is President of the EuGMS since 2023.
In 2018, the Cologne Symposium on Ageing Medicine focused on constructive debates on heart failure and intensive care in older patients seen from the organ-centered and from the geriatric perspective. Professor Michels, Professor Wild, Professor Müller-Werdan (President of the German Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics) and Professor Heppner (President of the German Geriatrics Society) excellently highlighted challenges and opportunities of care in the increasingly older European population.
The latter was indeed focus of the keynote lecture of Professor Finbarr Martin, President of the British Geriatrics Society from 2010 to 2012 and of the EuGMS in 2016-2017.
The 2019 edition was highlighted by the opening lecture of the world-renown Heidelberg gerontologist Professor Andreas Kruse, who delighted the audience with live piano interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach alternated with erudite considerations on living and dying in advanced age. The symposium was focused on high-performance medicine in advanced age and characterized by the excellent lectures of Professor Lee on myocardial infarction, of Professor Kurschat on renal transplantation, and of Professor Kunter on orthopedic surgery.
The last symposium prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was held on January 25th, 2020. It was opened by the keynote lecture of Professor Jürgen Bauer, President of the German Geriatrics Society from 2016 to 2018 and marked by state-of-the-art lectures on dementia (Professor Jessen), orthopedic surgery (Professor Simons), translational ageing (Professor Schumacher), valvular heart disease (Professor Frerker) as well as by case reports presented by young physicians of the University Hospital of Cologne.
Two more symposia were held after the pandemic. We had the great honor that Franz Müntefering accepted our invitation to give a keynote lecture on both occasions, but this could not be realized, unfortunately. In 2021, Dr. Bernd Zimmer, Vice-President of the ÄKNO and Professor Martin Wehling, Director of the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology Mannheim at the University of Heidelberg, presented crucial aspects of intersectoral healthcare and of pharmacotherapy in advanced age.
On August 12th, 2023, we had the pleasure to hear the keynote lecture of Professor Rainer Wirth on malnutrition and discuss fundamental issues in ageing medicine and geriatrics such as Frailty in cardiologic patients (Professor Pfister) and oral cancer therapies in advanced age (PD Dr. Goede).
We are extremely grateful to all the speakers, the attendees and the sponsors of our annual symposia and look forward to welcoming all of you to the 2024 on May 4th.
With best regards
M. Cristina Polidori
The symposium is organized by the Departments of Internal Medicine II and III of the University Hospital of Cologne in collaboration with the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), Univ. of Cologne and CECAD - the Cluster of Excellence, Univ. of Cologne and Stiftung der Cellitinnen e.V.
For further information or questions, please contact
Prof. Dr. Dr. M. Cristina Polidori MD PhD FRCP
Geriatrician and Gerontologist, Ageing Clinical Research and Senior Consultant Physician, Department II of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne