Brain aging

Localizer_Grégoria Kalpouzos_2

Photo: Grégoria Kalpouzos

People’s individual cognitive capabilities differ, and differences widen as people age. At ARC, we focus on understanding the reasons for these differences. Why do some 80-year-olds have better memories than 35-year-olds? Why do some people maintain a youthful brain but others develop dementia? How does behavior over the life course affect brain changes? Is it possible to slow, stop, or reverse cognitive decline by mental and/or physical training?

Several factors typically interact to cause faster cognitive decline and dementia, and some factors can protect against disease. We use SNAC-K and other large databases to study the impact of multiple factors. Collaborating in the CAIDE and HARMONY studies enables us to investigate how risks accumulate over the entire life course. Our research focuses on vascular factors like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; lifestyle factors like diet, smoking, alcohol use, and leisure activities; and genetic factors.

ARC also participates in FINGER, one of the first intervention studies attempting to postpone dementia by modifying a wide range of risk factors at the same time.

Brain aging, our largest research area, is divided into 4 subareas and 12 projects:

Cognitive aging

Risk factors for dementia

Intervention studies

Neuroimaging

Additional projects in the field of brain aging are underway at the af Jochnick Center for the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging

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