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Commentary in Neurology
July 2010

Defining Successful AgingThe Importance of Including Cognitive Function Over Time

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: University of California–San Francisco, San Francisco (Drs Fiocco and Yaffe). Dr Fiocco is now with the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, The Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(7):876-880. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.130

We are in the midst of a tremendous increase in life expectancy, which gives rise to new medical, economic, and social challenges. To reduce burden and enhance the benefits associated with an aging population, research must elucidate factors that decrease age-related disability and increase quality of life in later years. For this reason, the concept of optimal, or successful, aging should become a cornerstone of aging research. By identifying and characterizing this phenotype, we may determine factors associated with successful aging, which may then be implemented in programs to ensure optimal quality of life in later years.

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