Promoting Successful Aging and Brain Health

Date(s) - 21 Feb 2014
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Reid Park

UA to Host Second Annual Conference on Promoting Successful Aging and Brain Health, Feb. 21

Successful Aging 

Focusing on reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, the public conference will feature world-renowned speakers and new and practical information for optimal brain health as we age.

 TUCSON, Ariz. – In an effort to flip perceptions about aging from fear to empowerment, the University of Arizona is hosting the second annual Conference on Successful Aging, a cross-disciplinary, public conference on brain health featuring world-renowned speakers and the latest information on the science of successful aging. The conference will be held Friday, Feb. 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tucson-Reid Park, Grand Ballroom, 445 S. Alvernon Way, Tucson.


Open to the community, this year’s conference will focus on reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, a disorder of aging that affects more than one in eight adults over the age of 65. Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – causes profound changes in a person’s memory, behavior and ability to think clearly.


Experts will discuss lifestyle factors that may decrease risk for developing this disorder, as well as the latest information on the causes, symptoms and promising new treatments. Topics will include the benefits of social engagement for maintaining cognitive health, decreasing risk for Alzheimer’s disease through diet and nutrition, preventing falls and head injuries that increase risk for cognitive decline, and managing the stress of caregiving.


The event is spearheaded by the UA Department of Psychology and the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, and is co-sponsored by the BIO5 Institute and Tucson Medical Center.


The Conference on Successful Aging is the brainchild of two UA researchers, Lee Ryan, PhD, associate professor of psychology and neurology, and Gene Alexander, PhD, professor of psychology, who are co-directors of the event. In their research, Ryan and Alexander use state-of-the-art neuroimaging methods to understand the normally aging brain, the changes that lead to age-related memory problems and ways to prevent or treat age-related memory impairments.


“This event will bring together speakers with research expertise from across the UA campus and the state who are working to understand why some individuals are able to maintain their cognitive functions throughout their lifetime, while others experience cognitive impairments and brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, that interfere with the quality of daily life,” said Alexander.


“By understanding the brain and behavioral changes associated with aging and Alzheimer’s disease, it will be possible to develop research directions that will lead to practical recommendations for pharmacological and lifestyle interventions that may significantly reduce the risk of developing this disorder.”


Ryan added, “We want to find ways to help the community sift through the huge amount of information available now on the web and in the popular press regarding aging and preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Much of that information has no scientific basis, however, there is important new research that can guide us to make better lifestyle choices in our daily lives to maintain optimal brain health as we age. It’s an exciting time for scientists in the field, and we want to share our excitement with the community.”


“Our goal is to provide practical and useful information on ways to promote successful aging to the community and health-care workers who are concerned about maintaining and promoting a healthy brain as we age,” said Alexander.


The conference will conclude with a panel discussion that will give participants an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters, including Lee Ryan, PhD; Gene Alexander, PhD; Alex Hishaw, MD; Elizabeth Glisky, PhD; Geoffrey Ahern, MD, PhD; David Coon, PhD; and others.


All members of the community, of any age, who are interested in learning about reducing risk for Alzheimer’s disease should consider attending, as well as health-care workers who interact with older adults. (CE credits are available for psychologists.)


Registration for the conference is $48 per person ($150 for psychologists requesting CE credits) and will include a continental breakfast and lunch. (Registration fees are not tax deductible.) To register, or for more information, please visit or contact Cortney Jessup, 520-621-5213.


The BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona mobilizes top researchers in agriculture, engineering, medicine, pharmacy and science to find creative solutions to humanity’s most pressing health and environmental challenges. Since 2001, this interdisciplinary approach has been an international model of how to conduct collaborative research, and has resulted in improved food crops, innovative diagnostics, devices, and promising new therapies. Learn more at


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