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