Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content


Examining the Impact of Cognitive Impairment on Co-occurring Chronic Conditions (2010–2012)

  • CDC Healthy Aging Program funded University of Washington, a member of the CDC Healthy Aging Research Network, to gather information and resources that can assist public health practitioners at the national, state, and local levels to articulate the effects of cognitive impairment on public health strategies and policies, in particular the design and delivery of evidence-based health-promotion and chronic disease self-management programs. The findings will be published and a database of resources will be made available.

Examining the Prevalence of Chronic Health Conditions and Cognition (2010)

  • CDC’s Healthy Aging Program is supporting a project to examine the variation in prevalence of chronic health conditions on the basis of cognitive functioning in adults aged 51 years and older using data from the Health and Retirement Study.

Understanding the Publics’ Perception of “Brain Health” (2005–2009)

  • The CDC funded the Healthy Aging Research Network (CDC-HAN), a Prevention Research Centers network of nine universities involving experts in the field of aging and working within communities, is conducting prevention research on older adult health issues including cognitive health. HAN members are collaborating on a network-wide project that involves a series of focus groups designed to identify how diverse groups of older adults understand cognitive health and what health promotion and disease prevention approaches related to cognitive health that the public may find most appealing. This project has recently been expanded to examine the perceptions of caregivers and health care providers. It will provide important data that can be added to what is already known about cognitive or “brain” health, identify gaps in knowledge about cognitive health and related risk factors, and determine if such beliefs vary across geographical distances and between diverse populations.

Systematic Literature Reviews

  • Community-based Interventions to Improve Emotional Health in Older Adults (2007–2010). CDC’s Healthy Aging Program supported a project to systematically evaluate existing evidence-based literature to identify community-based interventions to improve emotional health in older adults. The methods were informed by the Community Guide and the NIH Cognitive and Emotional Health (CEH) project. This project will develop a strategy for: defining emotional health, identifying the set of interventions most relevant to the public health of older adults, developing a strategy for searching the peer reviewed literature including defining article inclusion and exclusion criteria, and evaluating the strength of evidence for the identified interventions. The findings from this review are expected to be published next year.
  • Physical Activity Interventions Related to Cognitive Health (2007–2010).CDC’s Healthy Aging Program funded a project to review the literature on physical activity interventions designed to promote cognitive health. Guided by an expert panel, project investigators developed an organizing model and analytic framework to guide the review. Subsequently, they are performing a systematic review to identify physical activity interventions related to cognitive health, focusing on physical activity interventions most relevant to the public health community. The findings from this review are expected to be published next year.
  • Physicians’ Perceptions, Knowledge and Practice about Cognition (2008–2010). CDC’s Healthy Aging Program, in collaboration with the PRC HAN and other experts, will review the literature examining physicians’ perceptions, knowledge and practice related to cognitive health and cognitive impairment. The findings will assist the Healthy Aging Program in identifying gaps in physicians’ perceptions, knowledge and practices related to cognition. The findings from this review are expected to be published within the next year.
  • Public’s Perceptions about Cognitive Health and Alzheimer’s Disease (2008–2009). CDC’s Healthy Aging Program reviewed the literature examining the public’s perceptions about cognitive health and Alzheimer’s disease among adults in the United States. The findings will assist the Healthy Aging Program to develop targeted and effective strategies to enhance knowledge and beliefs about cognitive impairment and health.
    • Reference: Anderson LA, Day KL, Beard RL, Reed PS, Wu B. The public’s perceptions about cognitive health and Alzheimer’s disease among the U.S. population: A national review. The Gerontologist. 2009; 49(S1):S3-S11.

Assessing Perceptions, Knowledge and Beliefs About Cognition (2008–2010)

  • To meet the needs of the general public and health care providers, CDC’s Healthy Aging Program developed a set of questions to assess perceptions, knowledge, and beliefs about cognitive health and cognitive impairment. The questions have been included in Porter Novelli's national surveys of health care providers and the general public. The findings will assist the Healthy Aging Program in improving its ability to provide technical assistance to researchers and to public health and aging service professionals, on educating the general public and health care providers about cognitive health and cognitive impairment.

Research Meeting About the “Healthy Brain and Our Aging Population: Translating Science to Public Health Practice” (2006)

  • The CDC and the Alzheimer’s Association held a meeting in May 2006 to bring together national experts to review and discuss the current scientific knowledge of major risk and protective factors related to maintaining cognitive function and reducing risk for cognitive decline. Additionally, the meeting focused on addressing the potential to promote and protect cognitive health and emotional well-being through new collaborations and investments to move the science forward for the benefit of the public. The findings from the research meeting have provided a foundation and common frame of reference for moving cognitive health forward to find programmatic and prevention research strategies for risk factors (e.g., lack of physical activity, uncontrolled high blood pressure) that have an impact on cognitive health issues. Proceedings from the meeting were published in an April 2007 supplement issue, “The Healthy Brain and our Aging Population” of Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.