SparcS Center


Several, if not all of the elements of our health are linked, for instance through a common demand for energy. The linkage of health elements becomes especially apparent in the elderly, where an overall state of low resilience is known as the frailty syndrome. Recovery processes become slower, and disturbances of one subsystem propagate more easily to cause malfunctioning of other elements of the body.

We work with Marcel Older Rikkert and others on understanding frailty and tipping points in the elderly. Meanwhile we cooperate with Jaap Bakker and Jan Kammenga to study death and frailty in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism.

Key references:

Slowing Down of Recovery as Generic Risk Marker for Acute Severity Transitions in Chronic Diseases

Olde Rikkert, M.G.M., Dakos, V., Buchman, T.G., Boer, R.D., Glass, L., Cramer, A.O.J., Levin, S., Van Nes, E., Sugihara, G., Ferrari, M.D., Tolner, E.A., Van De Leemput, I., Lagro, J., Melis, R. & Scheffer, M. (2016)

Critical Care Medicine 44 (3):601-606 [Full text]

Early warning signs for acute episodes in chronic diseases (in Dutch)

Olde Rikkert, M.G.M., Melis, R.J.F., Claassen, J.A.H.R., Ferrari, M.D., Lagro, J., Tolner, E.A. & Scheffer, M. (2015)

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde 159 (5):A8150 [Full text]