Global Council on Brain Health logo

The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) is an independent collaborative of scientists, health professionals, scholars and policy experts from around the world working in areas of brain health related to human cognition. The GCBH focuses on brain health relating to peoples’ ability to think and reason as they age, including aspects of memory, perception and judgment. The GCBH is convened by AARP with support from Age UK to offer the best possible advice about what older adults can do to maintain and improve their brain health. GCBH members come together to discuss specific lifestyle issue areas that may impact peoples’ brain health as they age with the goal of providing evidence-based recommendations for people to consider incorporating into their lives.

 

GCBH The Brain and Social Connectedness

Download the full report with the Council’s recommendations and practical tips.
 

Latest Report: Social Engagement and Brain Health

The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) met at Age UK in London to translate scientific evidence on social engagement and brain health into actionable recommendations for the public. GCBH issue experts from around the world came to consensus on a definition for social engagement, an explanation of social connections and networks, and the evidence on the relationship between social engagement and better brain health as we age. The GCBH outlined 15 recommendations to maintain relationships as we age and to build new connections throughout life.  These recommendation offer a variety of ways to stay engaged relevant to people from all over the world at any age. The report was refined over several months within the GCBH, reviewed by other experts in the field and finalized by the GCBH Governance Committee.

The report emphasizes that positive relationships, maintained over your lifetime, support well-being and brain health. The report explores current scientific research on the effect social engagement has on brain health.  It discusses numerous aspects of social engagement including digital connections, purpose in life, pets as companions, close personal or romantic relationships, and sense of community.  It also identifies knowledge gaps.  To complement the GCBH’s report, AARP surveyed more than 3,800 adults age 40 and older to understand the factors that influence social engagement, isolation and loneliness and how these issues relate to people’s brain health and mental well-being as they age.  Survey results can be found in the section below. 

As a result of these deliberations, the GCBH Governance Committee approved the following recommendations on social engagement and brain health for people as they age.

To find out more about how social connections affect your brain health, see this article by Beth Howard.

Staff Contacts

For more information regarding  the Global Council of Brain Health, you may contact our supporting staff members:

  • Sarah Lenz Lock, JD, Senior Vice President for Policy, AARP, Executive Director of the GCBH, slock@aarp.org
  • Lindsay Chura, Ph.D., Senior Policy and Research Advisor, AARP, Chief Scientific Officer of the GCBH, lchura@aarp.org
  • Nicholas Barracca, Brain Health Policy Analyst, AARP, Project Manager of the GCBH, nbarracca@aarp.org
  • James Goodwin, Ph.D., Head of Research, Age UK, Age UK Lead of the GCBH, James.Goodwin@ageuk.org.uk

Report: Brain-Sleep Connection

The sleep recommendations were circulated within the GCBH, reviewed by other experts in the field and prepared for review by the GCBH Governance Committee. As a result of these deliberations, the GCBH Governance Committee approved the following recommendations on sleep and brain health for people as they age.

GCBH Sleep Report

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Report: Brain-Body Connection

During the summer of 2016, the GCBH Governance Committee approved the following recommendations on physical activity and brain health for people as they age. Download the full report with the Council’s recommendations and practical tips.

GCBH brain-body connection physical activity on brain health

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AARP Milestones in Brain Health

Where we have been and where we are going

AARP Milestones in Brain Health

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Infographics

Sleep & Brain Health Infographic

Experts agree, sleep is vital for the aging brain, including cognitive function. View the full PDF.

GCBH Sleep Infographic Promo

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Exercise & Brain Health Infographic

As we age, an active lifestyle + regular exercise = better brain function. Click image to view full in English (PDF) or view in Spanish (PDF).

As we age, an active lifestyle + regular exercise = better brain function.

Click image to view full PDF


Surveys

2016 AARP Social Engagement and Brain Health Survey

Four in 10 (37%) of adults surveyed lacked social connections and reported worse brain health. Learn more

2016 AARP Sleep and Brain Health Survey

Over 4 in 10 adults say they don’t get enough sleep. Learn more

2016 Survey on Physical Activity

While an overwhelming majority of adults see the benefits of exercise, only 1 in 3 are meeting GCBH recommendations. Learn more

AARP Well-Being Survey

The more brain healthy activities an adult engages in, the higher their mental well-being. Learn more

 

Governance Committee

MARILYN ALBERT, Ph.D. (Chair)

Professor of Neurology; Director, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University 

 

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 (Vice Chair)

Professor of Clinical Psychology of Ageing and Dementia; Leader of Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH); University of Exeter (UK)

 

PEGGYE DILWORTH-ANDERSON, Ph.D.

Professor of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

YVES JOANETTE, Ph.D.

Faculty of Medicine — School of Speech Therapy and Audiology, University of Montreal; Scientific Director, Institute on Aging, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

 

S. DUKE HAN, Ph.D., ABPP-CN

Director of Neuropsychology; Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Neurology, and Psychology, USC Keck School of Medicine

 

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 (MUSC); Director, Roper St. Francis Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute (CBRI)

 

MARTHA CLARE MORRIS, Sc.D.

Professor and Director, Nutrition & Nutritional Epidemiology, Rush University

 

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.

Chief Strategy Officer, Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation

Social Engagement Issue Specialists

MICHELLE CARLSON, PH.D

Johns Hopkins University

 

ALAN GOW, PH.D.

Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
 

 

HOWARD LITWIN, PH.D.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

ERIC KIM, PH.D

Harvard University


KATSUNORI KONDO, M.D., PH.D.

Chiba University and National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Japan
 

CHENGXUAN QIU, PH.D.

Karolinska Institute, Sweden

 

VERA ROOS, MA, DPHIL

North West University, South Africa

 

Sleep Issue Specialists

SONIA ANCOLI-ISRAEL, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Medicine, University of California – San Diego

 

DONALD BLIWISE Ph.D

Professor of Neurology, Emory University

JULIE CARRIER, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Université de Montréal

CHARLES CZEISLER, Ph.D, M.D.

Baldino Professor and Director of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School

 

TIINA PAUNIO, M.D, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, Finland

 

DALVA POYARES, M.D

Senior Professor of Psychobiology, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

EUS VAN SOMEREN, Ph.D.

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

 

KRISTINE YAFFE, M.D

Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology, University of California – San Francisco 

 

YAP YOKE YEOW, M.D., M.Med

Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

 

PHYLLIS ZEE, M.D., Ph.D

Benjamin and Virginia T. Boshes Professor of Neurology, Northwestern University

 

Physical Exercise Issue Specialists

TERESA LIU-AMBROSE, PH.D., P.T.

Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience; University of British Columbia

 

KIRK ERICKSON, PH.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology; Member, Center for Neuroscience; University of Pittsburgh

 

ARTHUR F. KRAMER, PH.D.

Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education, Northeastern University

 

NICOLA LAUTENSCHLAGER, M.D.

Professor and Chair of Psychiatry of Old Age; University of Melbourne

 

NG TZE PIN, M.D.

Coordinator, Gerontology Research Programme; Yong Loon Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore

 

MARCUS RICHARDS, PH.D.

Professor of Psychology in Epidemiology at the Faculty of Population Health Sciences; University College London

 

KAYCEE SINK, M.D., MAS

Acting Section Chief, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine; Director of the Wake Forest Memory Assessment Clinic; Wake Forest University

 

CLAUDIA VOELCKER-REHAGE, PH.D.

Full Professor of Sports Psychology; Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany