“Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco checked in with 3,247 people for 25 years, starting when they were young adults…People who got little exercise or watched at least three hours of TV a day did worse [Read more…] about Study points to growing cognitive gap between high-volume TV watchers and infrequent watchers
Title: Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action
Report brief (opens PDF)
Description: People forget things—a name, where they put their keys, a phone number—and yet what is dismissed as a minor inconvenience at 25 years of age, can evolve into a momentary anxiety at 35, and a major source of personal worry at ages 55 or 60. Forgetfulness at older ages is often equated with a decline in [Read more…] about New report by the Institute of Medicine on cognitive health promotion
Brain games that could pay off in retirement (MarketWatch):
“Cognitive aging is the biggest health crisis in our country,” said Denise C. Park…the monetary cost of dementia in the U.S. tops $157 billion annually, according to estimates by the Rand Corp.—and that number could more than [Read more…] about To delay dementia, try challenging (vs. routine) brain stimulation…up to a point
“Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adulthood, a University of Edinburgh study suggests…Using data from intelligence tests on 262 Edinburgh-born individuals at the age of 11, the study looked at how their cognitive abilities had changed when they were tested again in their seventies [Read more…] about Learning a second language, at any age, leads to better cognitive abilities
via Press release:
The Research Partnership in Cognitive Aging, a public-private effort to promote the study of brain function with age, will award up to $28 million over five years to 17 research grants to examine the neural and behavioral profiles of healthy cognitive aging and explore interventions that may prevent, reduce or reverse cognitive decline in older people.
The partnership, led by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the McKnight Brain Research Foundation (MBRF), is seeking ways to maintain cognitive health — the ability to think, learn and remember — into old age.
Hodes pointed out that emerging evidence suggests that certain interventions — such as exercise, environmental enrichment, diet, social engagement, cognitive training and stress reduction — should be studied more intensively to determine if they might prevent or reduce declines in cognitive health.
All the studies are fascinating, and a few of them may have significant impact in the near-term given market trends:
- Ellen F. Binder, M.D., and Mark A. McDaniel, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis: Combining Exercise and Cognitive Training to Improve Everyday Function. A pilot trial in 90 older adults will evaluate whether cognition improves when aerobic exercise is combined with cognitive enrichment provided by a specific research-based video game. The randomized trial is aimed at finding an intervention to improve day-to-day cognitive function.
- Mark D’Esposito, M.D., University of California, Berkeley: A Brain-Based Approach to Enhancing Executive Control Functions in Healthy Aging
- Patricia A. Boyle, Ph.D., Rush University Medical Center, Chicago: Characterizing the Behavior Profile of Healthy Cognitive Aging
- Randy L. Buckner, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston: Neural Processes Underlying Cognitive Aging
- Joe Z. Tsien, Ph.D., Medical College of Georgia, Augusta: Hippocampal Network Profiles of Memory Aging.
- Yaakov Stern, Ph.D., Columbia University, New York: Combined Exercise and Cognitive Training Intervention in Normal Aging
For more information
My two cents:
- Why $28 million and not, say, $300m (one dollar per living American who tomorrow will be one day older than he or she is today)?
- Why the main emphasis on “prevent, reduce or reverse decline” and not on “develop, build, maintain functionality”?