Our nation has a higher proportion of older adults today than ever before, and another baby boomer turns 65 about every eight seconds. This means that maintaining the vitality of the aging brain is of critical importance to all of us—now, and as each of us grows older. The Center for Vital Longevity is at the forefront of understanding how we can age well, how we can ensure that our minds stay as healthy as our bodies and how we can utilize the vast experience and potential of aging Americans both in our workforce and in society.
One of the affiliated centers of the UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the Center for Vital Longevity was founded just two years ago. Already, though, we have become an internationally respected research leader. Our extraordinary scientists use cutting-edge brain-imaging technology and research techniques in cognitive neuroscience to understand, maintain and improve the vitality of the aging mind.
Understanding the core
Center scientists are engaged in a fascinating variety of research projects. The Dallas Lifespan Brain Study, one of the nation’s largest projects examining neural and cognitive aging across the adult lifespan, is investigating who ages successfully and why, as well as who may be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease well before symptoms appear. Another team is working to identify the core neural systems and processes that allow healthy individuals to successfully acquire and retrieve memories, and to determine how these systems are affected by the aging process.
We are trying to understand how and why memory improves with training. We are testing the “use it or lose it” hypothesis—the idea that you can keep your mind healthy in old age by leading an engaged lifestyle. Throughout the Center, we are making remarkable discoveries about the inner workings of the aging brain.
Invest in the future
The Center for Vital Longevity is a young institution on the fast track to becoming one of the leading aging-mind research centers in the world. To realize this vision, we need funding to research the frontiers of the mind, to enable the independence of older adults through technology and to reach out to the Dallas community for discussion and education. With your support, we can seize the opportunities that will shape our future.