Adults in their 80s and up who exhibit the cognitive function of an average middle-aged person are considered “super agers” and are the focus of research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. That research just got a major financial boost.
Since 2008, Northwestern scientists have researched “super agers,” a term they coined, in order to understand how the characteristics of these high-functioning individuals might protect against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
The university recently announced a $20 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to expand research to include hundreds of additional participants at five research sites across North America.
There’s still no cure for the Alzheimer’s disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Led by neuroscientist Emily Rogalski, the researchers have identified several common habits of super agers, including a propensity for social connection and physical activity.