Roena B. Kulynych Center for Memory and Cognition Research

We are pleased about your interest in the Roena B. Kulynych Center for Memory and Cognition Research. More people today are living longer lives than ever before, and substantial gains in life expectancy and in the number and proportion of older people throughout the world will have significant impact on our lives in this new century. This revolution in longevity represents both incredible opportunities and great challenges.

One of the major challenges formed by this revolution is the prevalent and tragic affliction of older age people with cognitive impairment, often resulting in dementia. While the scope of cognitive impairment and memory disorders is potentially great, research in this area is in its infancy. Only recently have studies begun to classify different types of memory impairment and to develop ways of identifying people at high risk for developing further memory impairment and dementia.

Dementia, often termed "senility" by the lay public, is a syndrome of impaired thinking, reasoning, judgment, language, memory and learning that affects approximately 25% of persons over the age of 75 and almost 40% of people over the age of 80. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. As the oldest segment of the population continues to rapidly grow, dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) will represent a significant and increasing social and economic burden for individuals, family, and society.

The absence of a complete scientific understanding of memory and aging remains a challenge to the medical and public health community. Little is known about such common areas as nutrition, smoking, alcohol consumption, and exercise on brain and memory function. Information is particularly lacking on the relationship between physical activity, physical disability, and memory impairment. There is also a great need for developing medications that prevent decline in mental function and to evaluate both drug and behavioral interventions that will help older people maintain cognitive vitality. In addition, there is a great need to implement new and better approaches to helping families care for older adults experiencing memory impairment while better treatment options are under development.

 

 

 

Last Updated: 11-25-2014
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