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Approved Research

The role of life course experiences in trajectories of healthy aging

Principal Investigator: Dr Jodie Gawryluk
Approved Research ID: 70386
Approval date: November 1st 2021

Lay summary

Given the global shift in age distribution towards older adults, there is a crucial need to better understand changes that occur as individuals age. Among the most well-known shifts associated with aging are changes in cognitive ability. While not unexpected, further research can identify the various effects of lifestyle factors on brain and cognitive function.

The overarching goal of the current research is to understand how life course variables (such as exercise and stress) relate to underlying brain and cognitive changes in aging. We specifically plan to examine several diverse factors (e.g., genetic, psychological, social) that may decrease or increase risk for cognitive decline, to determine how these factors may impact risk. The results of these analyses will be made available through scholarly publications within three years.

This comprehensive and novel research will characterize how the human brain changes with age depending on life course experiences. The work will  enhance current understanding of our aging population. The results of this research have the potential to inform current conceptualizations and policies surrounding healthy aging.