Aging, the Central Nervous System, and Mobility in Older Adults
2013 CNS Workshop: Neural Mechanisms of Mobility Impairments
To focus on the neural mechanisms underlying mobility impairments in older age. We will examine potential biological and physiological mechanisms elucidated from laboratory-based clinical studies, animal studies, and genetic investigations. The CNS alterations associated with mobility impairment appear to be related to ischemia, inflammation, and abnormal protein deposition; metabolic, hormonal, and neurotrophic processes; and genetic factors and other pathological processes that disrupt neural networks responsible for gait and balance. The overall objective of this workshop is to identify common precursors of mobility disability that may serve as targets for future preventive and therapeutic interventions.
Preliminary Program coming soon.
Special Issue Call for Papers
The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences is announcing a special issue on “Physical Function and the Aging Brain” to be published in the Fall of 2014. Caterina Rosano and Stephanie Studenski of the University of Pittsburgh will be the special issue editors. In the past several years, there has been a great expansion in research from a variety of disciplines indicating relationship between the aging brain and declining physical function beyond the effects of clinical neurological diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The integration of the aging brain into models of physical function represents an important expansion of conceptual and research paradigms to explain declining physical function, frailty and the onset of physical disability. To bring this rapidly evolving area to a wider audience, we are calling for original manuscript submissions presenting high quality, innovative work that advances our understanding of how the aging brain affects physical function. Potential topics include but are not limited relationships between aspects of physical function (e.g. gait, movement speed, balance, muscle strength and power) and white matter integrity, subclinical cerebrovascular disease, resting state networks, and neuro-cognitive tests. The cognitive effects of interventions designed to improve physical function and physical effects of interventions designed to improve cognitive function are also of interest. Manuscripts should be submitted by December 31, 2013 via Manuscript Central to JG:MS. Check “yes” to the query about submission to a special issue and click on the pull down menu for topic and then click on “Physical Function and the Aging Brain.” Click here for the full Call for Papers.
2012 CNS Workshop: Evidence on changes in the central nervous system control of movement across the life span and in aging
Monday, November 12 to Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and The Gerontological Society of America, this workshop is entitled “Evidence on changes in the central nervous system control of movement across the life span and in aging.” This state-of-the-art workshop offers investigators an opportunity to learn about cutting edge research developments, participate in the creation of recommendations for future research and to network with colleagues and leaders in the field.
The goal of this workshop is to clarify the biological rationale underlying the association between the CNS and mobility. The heterogeneity of physical limitations in older adults remain largely unexplained, even after accounting for peripheral nervous system, musculoskeletal, and cardiorespiratory systems measures. Presenters will review studies indicating that this variance may at least in part result from different degrees of brain plasticity that buffer the disabling potential of other systems’ impairment. This differential for brain compensation may explain not only why the relationship of exposure to risk factors or to neuromuscular impairment with disability is highly variable but also why the response to rehabilitative intervention is quite different from individual to individual. Because inquiry into these phenomena has been accumulating within disciplines that have not traditionally interacted, this workshop seeks to bring together experts in the fields of gerontology, movement science, neurology, and epidemiology from both basic and clinical perspectives to share insights, promote opportunities related to aging, and develop a common framework for future research.