a1 Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Estonia
a2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tartu, Estonia
a3 Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Estonia
Due to demographic changes, the population ageing process in Estonia accelerated rapidly at the end of the 20th century. In Estonia, research in gerontology and geriatrics has no long-standing tradition. In the beginning, social aspects like the pension system, coping strategies and well-being of aged people, were the research focus. More recently, epidemiological studies of diseases seen in the older population have been extensively conducted. In clinical medicine, the main research topics have been osteoporosis, Parkinson's disease, dementia and stroke.
In this review, changes in neuromuscular function and hormonal regulation during ageing, and the genetic aspects of the Estonian Longevity Study will be described. The aim of the current paper is to introduce the main fields of gerontological research in Estonia to allow better integration with other research groups.
(Online publication April 29 2010)