Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action

Article excerpt

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action. Edited by D.G. Blazer, K. Yaffe and C.T. Liverman; Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of Cognitive Ageing, Board on Health Sciences Policy, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Published by The National Academies Press, 2015. Hardback, 318 pp. ISBN: 9780309368629.

This book reports on an inquiry undertaken by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The focus is on a broad range of public health issues linked to cognitive ageing, particularly the implications for individuals, for their families and for society. The authors make clear from the outset that neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and other dementias are not included in the study. The essential thrust of the text is to demonstrate that cognitive ageing is an individual, family, healthcare system and societal challenge that requires action by many and varied stakeholders.

The book is effectively structured and begins with a chapter on characterising and assessing cognitive ageing. There is a useful analysis of age-related changes in human cognition and a very informative section on methods of cognitive assessment. The American origin of the book becomes more evident in a chapter on population-based information about cognitive ageing, where all of the statistics are based on the US population. There are, however, many interesting points made that will have relevance to the United Kingdom.

For example, the claim that researchers and policy makers are much more interested in dementia and dementia-related conditions than in less severe agerelated cognitive changes is the focus of this book. …

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