U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Cognitive and Emotional Health Project: The Healthy Brain

Three Institutes, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), have joined efforts to launch a new trans-NIH initiative, Cognitive and Emotional Health Project: The Healthy Brain. There are now about 45 million Americans over age 60 and 117 million over age 40. Current evidence indicates that a large number of them are at substantial risk for cognitive impairment from many causes as they age. The same is true for emotional disorders. While research into biological mechanisms and environmental and social effects are yielding promising results in both animal and human studies, much remains to be discovered. Advances in understanding the positive and negative changes in cognition and emotion in adulthood, and what can be done to preserve and enhance positive outcomes, is at the core of the missions of the participating Institutes. The overall goal of the "Healthy Brain Project" is to assess the state of longitudinal and epidemiological research on demographic, social and biologic determinants of cognitive and emotional health in aging adults and the pathways by which cognitive and emotional health may reciprocally influence each other. A number of activities have been undertaken to accomplish these goals.

CEHP Activities

o A set of four review documents was drafted to provide an outline summary of measures and results in four important domains relevant to healthy aging. An Executive Summary is also available to provide an overview of all four documents.

  • Cognitive Health
  • Emotional Health
  • Demographic and Social Factors
  • Biomedical and Physiologic Factors

o A questionnaire was created to poll investigators conducting large-scale longitudinal and epidemiological studies of cognitive and emotional health, in order to determine what variables were/are being measured, e.g., demographic, biological, cognitive, emotional, psychosocial, etc. Investigators conducting such studies are invited to complete the web-based version of this questionnaire if they have not previously completed the instrument. Responses will be entered into a database that can be searched.

o A searchable database was created from current responses to the questionnaire. Any new questionnaires that are filled out and submitted online will be reviewed for authenticity and released to the database as they are received. Investigators are invited to query this database to access descriptions of studies that meet their selection criteria.

o Critical Evaluation Study Committee

o Cognitive and Emotional Health: The Healthy Brain Workshop

o PowerPoint Summary of CEHP Project, Summer 2004 Adobe PDF (1.3MB)