New Volume on How to Foster Healthy and Cognitively Robust Old Age


The way people age is determined by many factors including lifestyle, health conditions, genetics as well as external factors like socioeconomic position, working status or socio-environmental factors such as social cohesion, the safety and affluence of their neighborhood, and even the current national economic situation. As a result not only do these factors influence present life conditions, but they have implications and long-term consequences for mental and physical health in old age as well.

The edited volume “Health and Cognition in Old Age. From Biomedical and Life Course Factors to Policy and Practice“ presents current findings regarding the topics of healthy aging, especially regarding the maintenance of cognitive and physical abilities and well-being in old age. The 19 contributing authors are all participants in the FLARE programme (Future Leaders of Aging Research in Europe). FLARE is an international programme for young postdoc researchers supported by the European Union whose main emphasis in research is in different fields of gerontology. The FLARE programme was funded by members of the European Research Area in Ageing (ERA-AGE) and was led by Prof Alan Walker at the University of Sheffield, UK.

"In order to understand the complexity of the aging process and to ensure not only longer, but also healthier lives, we need to integrate and understand different perspectives of aging, which is why interdisciplinary and international cooperation are of vital importance”, says Dr Anja Leist, a research associate at the University of Luxembourg, who is one of the editors of the volume together with Dr Jenni Kulmala from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and Dr Fredrica Nyqvist from the Finnish National Institute of Health and Welfare in Vaasa.

The contributing authors are working in Europe, Israel, and the United States of America in the fields of biomedicine & general medicine, immunology, psychology, gerontology, sociology, educational sciences, philosophy, humanities, epidemiology, public health, and social policy. The chapters summarize new findings that advance our understanding of different aging processes including, for example, evidence on how lifestyle contributes to the development of dementia, how working conditions relate to later-life health and functional ability, and how overweight/obesity in different life stages impacts cognitive abilities in old age. In addition, optimal social conditions such as social networks, friends and welfare and their contribution to positive aging are further elaborated. Furthermore, the volume presents findings from immunological and biomedical research which focuses on slowing down biological aging processes.

Health and Cognition in Old Age. From Biomedical and Life Course Factors to Policy and Practice

Series: International Perspectives on Aging, Vol. 10, Leist, Anja K., Kulmala, Jenni, Nyqvist, Fredrica (Eds.) 2014, XXI, 329 p. 18 illus., 5 illus. in color. Hardcover. Publisher: Springer. English

ISBN-10: 3319066498ISBN-13: 978-3319066493. available at