Research Partnership in Cognitive Aging

Improving our understanding of age-related cognitive decline

The Problem
With a rapidly growing aged population, maintaining cognitive function is critical for the health and well-being of U.S. citizens. Roughly 87% of people age 65 and older may experience cognitive changes due to the normal aging process.
The Solution
Improving our understanding of age-related cognitive decline can lead to interventions and treatments that may delay or prevent brain aging, contributing to better quality of life for older adults.


Plasticity and Mechanisms of Cognitive Remediation in Older Adults is currently the centerpiece of a Research Partnership in Cognitive Aging between the McKnight Brain Research Foundation (MBRF) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), coordinated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). The partnership – now more than a decade long – currently supports an NIH grant for a multicenter clinical research trial on remediating age-related cognitive decline through mindfulness-based stress reduction and exercise, the MEDEX trial. Publication of results is expected in 2021.

A key goal of the partnership is to encourage therapeutic approaches that improve neuroplasticity in the aging brain, as verified by behavioral and biological markers.

This 2014 grant follows 17 awards made in 2009 through the Research Partnership in Cognitive Aging, which supported research on neural and behavioral profiles of cognitive function in aging and interventions to remediate age-related cognitive decline.

This partnership has also convened and hosted three Cognitive Aging Summits.

Cognitive Aging
This partnership helps accelerate discovery of the causes and risk factors associated with disease and disability among older adults, and opens new paths for discoveries and improved brain health for our aging population.


Public-Sector Partners

  • National Cancer for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)
  • NIH Office of Behavior and Social Science Research (OBSSR)

Private-Sector Partners

  • McKnight Brain Research Foundation

FNIH Contact