The “graying of America” is growing at a record pace. In less than two decades, older adults are projected to outnumber children for the first time in this country’s history. University of Miami researchers are tapping into this expanding population in an effort to understand what allows some to age better than others.
Join us for a series of discussions on how aging affects your brain, including what to expect, prevention and best practices.
Having a bigger waistline and a high body mass index (BMI) in your 60s may be linked with greater signs of brain aging years later, according to a study published by a leading University of Miami neurology researcher in the July 24 online edition of N e u r o l o g y®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study suggests that these factors may accelerate brain aging by at least a decade.
On June 26th, the eminent Dr. Hachinski was our special Research Seminar presenter. He is the Distinguished University Professor at the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at Western University London in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Vladimir Hachinski is a world-renowned neurologist, a foremost authority in the field of stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s research and an international leader in the joint prevention of stroke and dementia. He presented on the Origin, Status and Future of the Hachinski Ischemic Score.
Dr. Lazar is a Professor of Neurology, he holds the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair and is the Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. He is a neuropsychologist with broad interests in aging and vascular disease, with emphases on reversible causes of cognitive decline, risk-factor modification to promote cognitive resiliency, and recovery after stroke. He presentation was on Vascular Cognitive Impairment: Insights from Vascular Interventions.
Dr.Tatjana Rundek was nominated for the 31st annual in the Company of Women Outstanding Woman in Science and Technology award and it was one of 2 winners who are sharing this year’s award.
An innovative study by the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute of the Department of Neurology in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine aims to determine what factors contribute to successful aging in seniors 85 and older.
“We are looking for super-agers who are socially active, engaged in hobbies, exercise regularly and are brain healthy,” said Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and public health sciences, and the principal UM investigator for the collaborative McKnight Brain Aging Registry study.
“While there are numerous studies about disorders of aging, such as dementias, few have focused on healthy individuals who maintain their cognitive abilities,” added Dr. Rundek, who is executive vice chair for research and faculty affairs in the Department of Neurology, scientific director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, and the Evelyn F. McKnight Chair for Learning and Memory in Aging.
The UM researchers have begun enrolling about 50 South Florida study participants age 85 and older. Each of the other three McKnight Brain Institutes, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Florida and University of Arizona, will also enroll 50 participants.
“Our participants are excited and proud to be part of this super-aging study,” said Stacy S. Merritt, research and administration director at the McKnight Brain Institute. “We hope the knowledge we gain from the study will allow more of us to follow in their footsteps.”
Participants will be given assessments measuring their attention, working memory, comprehending language, calculating, reasoning, problem solving and decision making. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan will be taken of the brain and analyzed. “We will also be asking questions about their lifestyles and habits to help determine how they have stayed so healthy,” said Merritt.
Dr. Rundek said the McKnight study is particularly important since the U.S. population of older adults will continue growing in the next decade. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 16 percent of men and almost 30 percent of women age 50 will live to be 90 years old.
The study also supports the Miller School’s neuroscience research pillar. “In addition to learning more about successful aging, this study will help us design clinical trials focused on treating age-related cognitive losses or preventing further worsening,” said Dr. Rundek. “Ultimately, we hope the results will lead to interventions designed to help our seniors maintain physical, mental and emotional health.”
For more information on the study, contact Stacy Merritt at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 305-243-1386.
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
Research Symposium and Chair Presentation
Don Soffer Clinical Research Center (CRB)
Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education
1 st Floor Auditorium
1120 NW 14 th Street, 1st Floor
Miami, Florida 33136
At a ceremony before many of the nation’s most prominent neurologists, renowned researcher, epidemiologist, mentor, and educator Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., formally became the holder of the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair for Learning and Memory in Aging.
Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Gomes-Osman for being awarded a Mentored Translational Research Scholars Program Award (KL2) from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Miami! This program is designed to support the research career development of early stage investigators at the assistant professor level for two years and will include: (1) 75% salary support up to the NIH Salary Cap; (2) $2,500 for travel and training-related activities; (3) $30,000 for research expenses.