At the beginning of this document, we told you about a few of the millions of healthy, productive Americans over 65. In stark contrast to just a century ago, the good health, productivity, and high quality of life enjoyed by Jimmy Carter, Madeleine L'Engle, Johnny Kelley, and Julia Child are now shared by large numbers of older men and women. Yet important work remains to be done. As our population rapidly grows older, it is ever more urgent that we find effective ways to address the often devastating diseases and conditions associated with advanced age. Since the NIA's founding in 1974, groundwork has been laid for today's important advances in understanding basic aging, preventing disease and disability, including Alzheimer's disease, and defining special social and behavioral issues for older individuals, their families and caregivers, and clinicians. The latest studies provide additional basic understandings as well as improved interventions to treat and even prevent some of the more devastating and disabling aspects of aging. With such research continued and intensified, we can move forward in meeting the promise of extended life by improving the health and well being of older people in America.