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National Cognitive Aging Summit

Published: October 30th, 2007

Category: Events

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) convened a Cognitive Aging Summit on October 10-12, 2007 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The Summit was made possible by a grant from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation (MBRF) to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) in support of the MBRF’s  vision to improve the quality of life through the understanding and alleviation of age related memory loss.

The purpose of the Cognitive Aging Summit was to bring together a range of experts in a variety of research fields to discuss the most cutting-edge advances in our understanding of age-related brain and behavioral changes. The goals and objectives of the conference are to assess the status of current scientific knowledge in normal aging and changes in cognition associated with the aging process; explore new avenues of potential research within the scientific community that could lead to the development of pharmacological and behavioral interventions; and, ultimately, to improved outcomes for the aging; and raise the level of awareness both within the scientific community and among the public about the importance of this area of research and its tremendous value to society. Dr. Carol Barnes, the McKnight Chair and Director of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Arizona, Dr. David Sweatt, the McKnight Chair and Director of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Alabama, and Dr.Thomas Foster, the McKnight Chair from the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida served on the advisory committee for planning the outstanding scientific program for the Summit.

It is anticipated that recommendations for research directions will emerge from the Summit and that subsequent research will lead to practical recommendations and interventions for maintenance of cognitive health throughout life and will be jointly funded by the NIA and the MBRF through the FNIH.

The Summit is the first National conference to be held to discuss the important issue of the influence of normal aging on cognitive health. As life expectancy is extended it is imperative that we have a better understanding of the aging brain in order to help people age successfully, both mentally and physically.  The Summit was attended by 250 leaders in research in the neurological, psychological, behavioral and the basic neurosciences.  To review the scientific program, please visit the Cognitive Aging Summit web site.

The proceedings of the Cognitive Aging Summit will be published at a future date in the neuroscience and related scientific literature.