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December 11/25, 2006

Preventing Cognitive Decline in Usual Aging

Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(22):2433-2434. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.22.2433

Cognitive decline in later life is undoubtedly a complex process involving many underlying mechanisms. In some instances, mild impairment will represent a way station along the descending road to frank dementia. In many others, it will be a signpost for the uneven path of “usual” aging, not necessarily a pleasant passage, but a route conceptually closer to the age-associated declines in respiratory vital capacity and maximum heart rate than to a defined illness such as Alzheimer disease. As baby boomers age and the oldest segment of the population continues to grow, it becomes increasingly urgent to develop strategies for the delay, prevention, or amelioration of age-associated cognitive decline.