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AARP Brain Health Survey Reveals Nearly Half of People Are Not Doing the Most Important Activities to Support Brain Health

New Survey Results Released with the Launch of the Global Council on Brain Health

CONTACT: Jessica Winn 202-434-2560 media@aarp.org @AARPMedia

Tweet it: “AARP survey: nearly half of all people are not doing one of the two most important activities to support brain health”

WASHINGTON, DC — In AARP’s latest survey on brain health, it found that although virtually every adult age 40 and over (98%) believes it is important to maintain or improve their brain health, only about half (56%) are doing one of the two most important activities to support their brain health—engaging in exercise and eating a healthy diet. According to a 2011 study by the Mayo Clinic and a 2010 study published in the Nature Reviews Neuroscience Journal, engaging in aerobic exercise regularly and eating a healthy diet are the two most important activities to maintain and improve brain health. To help empower people to maintain and improve their cognitive health, AARP is launching the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH)—an independent collaborative of scientists, doctors, scholars and policy experts. This collaborative will provide trusted information on what actions people can take to support their brain health through quarterly white papers, scientific reviews and other research.

“It’s clear that people want to know how to keep their brains active and healthy as they age, but they need a trusted source that can help them make sense of all the latest developments in brain health science,” said Sarah Lock, AARP Senior Vice President, Policy, Research and International Affairs. “The Global Council on Brain Health will help people understand what real-life approaches work best and empower them to live brain-healthy lifestyles.”

The GCBH is an independent collaborative convened by AARP  working together  with Age UK—the United Kingdom’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life—that will  address a critical social issue and help people live their best lives. The collaborative will build on the Institute of Medicine’s Cognitive Aging report from April 2015, which provided a basis for understanding the aging brain and described opportunities for actions.  Members are eminent experts from leading research institutions working in the fields of neuroscience and geriatrics who will address the full range of factors that can impact brain health and examine key priority issue areas—such as physical exercise, mental engagement, stress levels, and medications and supplements.

Current GCBH members include:

  • Marilyn Albert, Ph.D., Professor of Neurology; Director, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins
  • Kaarin Anstey, Ph.D., Director, Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, Australian National University College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
  • Linda Clare, Ph.D. Sc.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology of Ageing and Dementia; Leader of Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH); University of Exeter
  • Peggye Dilworth-Andersen, Ph.D., Professor of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • S. Duke Han, PhD, ABPP-CN, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences Conjoint Associate Professor of Neurological Sciences Rush Alzheimer¹s Disease Center
  • Yves Joanette, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging; Professor, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal (Canada)
  • Jason Karlawish, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania
  • Miia Kivipelto, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Director of Research, Development and Education, Center for Alzheimer Research & Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet, Head of Clinical Trials, Karolinska University Hospital
  • Jessica Langbaum, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Banner Alzheimer's Institute; Associate Director, Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative
  • Jacobo Mintzer, M.D., Professor, Medical University of South Carolina; Director, Roper St. Francis Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute
  • Martha C. Morris, Sc.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, Director, Section of Nutrition and Nutritional Epidemiology, Rush University Medical Center
  • Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging
  • Kate Zhong, M.D., Senior Director, Clinical Research and Development, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada and Cleveland, Ohio

For more information on GCBH, please visit: www.GlobalCouncilOnBrainHealth.org

To read the full survey, please visit: www.aarp.org/2015BrainHealthSurvey

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About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.​

About Age UK
We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.  We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well-being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group (“we”). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity’s trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

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