The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 50% of older adults above age 80 have Alzheimer’s disease. Within the 50% of older adults who do not meet criteria for Alzheimer’s disease, most experience typical age-related changes in memory. However, there is a small group of older adults who Dr. Emily Rogalski, a clinical and cognitive neuroscientist at Northwestern University, calls “SuperAgers.” Dr. Rogalski studies “SuperAging,” which describes older adults who are seemingly resistant to the deleterious changes in memory associated with typical or atypical aging. Today, John and Ryan talk with Dr. Rogalski about the creation and development of the concept of SuperAging, as well as what she thinks confers resilience to age-related cognitive change.
A pdf of the transcript for this episode is available here.
- Causes of age-related cognitive change
- Difference between “average” and “intact” performance
- Operational definition of the terms SuperAging and successful aging
- Differences in aging in middle age adults
- Intra- and inter-individual variability in aging
- What we know about the prevalence of SuperAging
- Screening for SuperAging
- Considering SuperAging defined by cognitive domains other than memory
- Cognitive trajectories and structural and functional brain changes in SuperAgers
- Emotional wellbeing in SuperAgers versus typically aging older adults
- Role of resistance and resilience to AD pathology in SuperAging
- Relationship of race/ethnicity, sex, and SES to SuperAging
- Relationship of “blue zones” to SuperAging
- Personality and lifestyle factors and their relationship to SuperAging
Emily Rogalski, Ph.D., is a clinical and cognitive neuroscientist and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She also serves as the Associate Director of the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer Disease and as Imaging Core Leader of their NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
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