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The Report of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Critical Evaluation Study for the Cognitive and Emotional Health Project

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program of NIA along with NIMH and NINDS sponsored a symposium highlighting the trans-NIH initiative, "The Cognitive and Emotional Health Project". The symposium was held as an ancillary event to the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Prevention of Dementia: Early Diagnosis and Intervention. The NIH Cognitive and Emotional Health Project (CEHP) has been a joint venture of the NIA, the NIMH, and the NINDS. The goals of the project have been to assess the state of longitudinal and epidemiological research on demographic, social and biologic determinants of cognitive and emotional health among adults, to determine how these pathways may reciprocally influence each other, to identify gaps in that knowledge, and to promote further research as deemed necessary to resolve inconsistencies and to accelerate the pace of scientific advances in the fields of cognition and emotion. The overarching goal was to determine how cognitive and emotional health can be maintained and enhanced as people grow older by unearthing the risk and preventive factors for cognitive and emotional dysfunction.

A central activity of the CEHP was the execution of the Critical Evaluation Study, the purpose of which was to critically evaluate the extant literature and resulting findings from longitudinal studies that targeted factors involved in the maintenance of cognitive and/or emotional health in the adult. A blue-ribbon committee of extramural and intramural experts formulated the structure of the Critical Evaluation Study, set the criteria for inclusion of studies to be examined, conducted an exhaustive search of relevant studies and resultant publications, and analyzed the outcomes of the published research. The purpose of this symposium was to present the structure and outcomes of the study to the clinical and research communities and to offer suggestions for future research directions and opportunities. Presentations were made by Drs. Hugh Hendrie, Molly Wagster, Meryl Butters, Marilyn Albert, and Lenore Launer. A panel of discussants was comprised of Drs. Henry Brodaty, Kenneth Langa, Mary Ganguli, and Ingmar Skoog.

Contact information: Dr. Molly Wagster, NNA 301-496-9350