A close-up shot at two hands holding a syringe that is inserted in a vial of medication.


Marcus Institute research is optimizing the benefits of pharmaceutical treatments for older patients while ensuring safety.

Improving Medication Safety for Older Adults

People 65 and older take prescribed medications more frequently than any other age group in the United States. Almost nine out of ten older adults take at least one medication, and more than half report that they take four or more prescription drugs. 

Advances in effective therapies for preventing and curing disease have contributed significantly to longevity and wellness. 

At the same time, it’s important to recognize that our bodies process medications differently as we age and medication doses are mostly established in studies done on younger, healthier adults, which means that older patients may be at risk when prescribed certain medications at doses designed for younger people.

That’s why Marcus Institute researchers are examining:

  • The relationship between medications and adverse health outcomes such as falls, injuries, and treatment side effects among older people
  • The efficacy of deprescribing medications for older people
  • The ways that genetics can influence our response to medications
  • How certain supplements can improve or prevent conditions common in aging

The Marcus Institute’s Findings on Medication Use in Elderly Patients

Using real-world databases including Medicare claims and the Minimum Data Set, Marcus Institute researchers have:

  • Investigated the relationship of many classes of medications to adverse health outcomes
  • Gained understanding through observational studies and clinical trials of the risks and benefits of deprescribing, which is the intentional reduction or stopping of medications that might be causing harm or might not be beneficial

Research currently in progress includes:  

  • An innovative pilot program to encourage deprescribing in nursing home residents 
  • Clinical trials of probiotic and prebiotic supplements to prevent bone loss 
  • A study of drugs that can enhance cerebral blood flow, including senolytic agents, to improve executive cognitive function and the central nervous system’s control of mobility 

Medication is a critical component of medical treatment and Marcus Institute researchers are working to make sure these life-saving therapies do just that and don’t cause more harm than good.

Explore this section to learn more about the Marcus Institute’s research into the safe and effective use of medications in older adults.

Find current research projects

Showing 15 Results

Nursing Home Prevention of Injury in Dementia (NH PRIDE)

This research aims to develop and implement an Injury Liaison Service in four nursing home facilities that will promote deprescribing psychoactive and cardiometabolic drugs and encourage osteoporosis treatment.

NIH R01AG062492

Principal Investigator

Prospective Monitoring of Newly Approved Cardiovascular Drugs in Older Adults with Frailty

This research aims to establish a prospective monitoring program in routine healthcare databases for older adults with frailty and identify predictors of benefit from newly marketed drugs for cardiovascular disease.


Principal Investigator

Safe Cardiometabolic Drug Prescribing to Prevent Injury in Nursing Home Residents

This research aims to determine the net clinical benefit of cardiometabolic drugs in ADRD and other nursing home residents. Our findings will inform clinical treatment of cardiometabolic disease, prevent injurious falls, and save costs in the nursing home.
NIH R01AG061221

Principal Investigator

Senolytics and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults at Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (STAMINA)

This research aims to prevent common age-related impairments in cognition and mobility that lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease by interrupting one of the fundamental mechanisms of aging, namely the accumulation of senescent cells and their damaging products. We will determine the feasibility of administering Quercetin and Dasatinib to eliminate these cells from the body, and test whether their elimination can improve brain blood flow, cognition, and mobility in older adults at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

NIH R21AG073886-01

Principal Investigators

Join this Research Study

System Biology Approach to Decode Molecular Mechanism of Glucose Metabolism in Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

This research aims to elucidate novel molecular biomarkers associated with glucose metabolism that might serve to define high-risk individuals and to identify novel potential drug targets for AD/dementia.

NIH R03AG072233

Principal Investigator

Systemic Contribution of Age-Associated Epigenetic Mechanisms to Osteoarthritis

This research aims to identify potential new targets for Osteoarthritis therapy by identifying key age-associated biological mechanisms underlying Osteoarthritis pathogenesis. The objective of this project is to determine the role of epigenetic changes to genes in key aging pathways on Osteoarthritis.

NIH R01AR075356

Principal Investigator

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The goal of the study is to determine whether the senolytic medications Dasatinib and Quercetin can reduce senescent cells, increase mobility (walking speed), and improve memory in older adults.


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