Chronic Medical Disease and Cognitive Aging: Toward a Healthy Body and Brain explores the important and often overlooked connection between how chronic medical diseases of the body can affect cognitive function and brain health. As population demographics shift to that of an aging population it has become more important to understand and improve cognitive function in late life. Chronic medical diseases often increase the risk of cognitive impairment, and those with cognitive impairment may be less able to effectively manage their medical conditions, suggesting a reciprocal relationship may exist where medical disease impacts cognition that in turn may exacerbate physical health.

Chronic Medical Disease and Cognitive Aging discusses current research on the association between a variety of chronic medical diseases and cognition and, where appropriate, promising interventions or accepted treatment strategies. While a cure for many diseases continues to be elusive, insights garnered from the interplay between diseases of the body and mind may help point the way to novel therapeutic strategies to improve cognitive function in late life.




Dr. Yaffe co-chaired the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of Cognitive Aging with Dr. Dan Blazer. The work of the committee resulted in a comprehensive report on the latest research on cognitive aging entitled, Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action. The report also includes critical recommendations for individuals and families, communities, health care professionals, public health agencies, researchers, policy makers and advocates, as well as the private sector.