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Population segments differ on perceptions of cognitive health
Date:8/20/2009

A new special issue of The Gerontologist has identified for the first time how ethnically, culturally, linguistically, and geographically diverse groups think about aging and brain health.

This research was conducted based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Healthy Brain Initiative, a project designed to eliminate health disparities. The findings will be used to further the development of effective public health messages to promote cognitive health in older adults across the nation.

"This special issue includes a wide range of cutting-edge manuscripts on cognitive health in old age," said William J. McAuley, PhD, editor-in-chief of The Gerontologist. "It presents information on perceptions about cognitive health held by various groups, methods of promoting cognitive health, and approaches to preserving physical health among those with cognitive problems."

All demographic groups studied believed that cognitive health is influenced by physical, mental, and social activity; however, they differed in opinions of the benefits of specific activities, nutrition, and genetics. The respondents also indicated that that media messages about cognitive health are limited and confusing. Furthermore, many agreed that health messages that incorporate specific community values and are delivered within pre-existing social groups by community leaders may be particularly effective.

The Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN), located within CDC's larger Prevention Research Centers Program and supported by CDC's Healthy Aging Program, spearheaded the project.

"The Network is unique in that it combines di
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Contact: Todd Kluss
tkluss@geron.org
202-587-2839
The Gerontological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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