Workshop on Synergies Between Alzheimer's Research and Clinical Gerontology and Geriatrics: Current Status and Future Directions.
Age is the strongest risk factor for physical disability and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias. As such, other aging-related risk factors are also shared by these two health conditions. However, clinical geriatrics and gerontology research has included cognition and depression in models of physical disability, with less attention to the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disease. Similarly, AD research generally incorporates limited, if any, measures of physical function and mobility, and therefore often fails to consider the relevance of functional limitations in neurodegeneration. Accumulating evidence suggests that common pathways lead to physical disability and cognitive impairment, which jointly contribute to the aging phenotype. Collaborations between researchers focusing on the brain or body will be critical to developing, refining, and testing research paradigms emerging from a better understanding of the aging process and the interacting pathways contributing to both physical and cognitive disability. The National Institute of Aging sponsored a workshop to bring together the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and AD Center programs to explore areas of synergies between the research concerns of the two programs. This article summarizes the proceedings of the workshop and presents key gaps and research priorities at the intersection of AD and clinical aging research identified by the workshop participants.
Brinkley, TE; Berger, M; Callahan, KE; Fieo, RA; Jennings, LA; Morris, JK; Wilkins, HM; Kritchevsky, SB
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