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Press Release: Consensus Statement Highlights Necessary Factors to Boost Cognitive Reserve

The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) is excited to launch a consensus statement from the Copenhagen Summit on cognitive reserve. Held in October 2019 in partnership with DaneAge, the Summit brought together over 75 delegates from 22 countries, comprising of public health policy makers, international organizations focused on ageing and brain health, academia and policy advocacy experts.

The consensus statement identifies three important factors necessary to drive the development of a global, coordinated and evidence-informed action plan to boost cognitive reserve.

  1. Promote social policies that permit, enable and foster cognitive reserve building activities: Address gate-keeper issues such as raising school completion, disparities in education, adult illiteracy, and chronic mental health issues.
  2. Advance a new societal narrative: Ageing as decline, disease and disability must be replaced by a narrative of opportunity to take control, transmit knowledge, maximise function and pursue activities that give meaning to life.
  3. Coordinate a global action plan: Research, translation and implementation of low cost and accessible cognitive reserve- inspired interventions and policy are all urgently required.

Knowledge gained through the Summit supports and builds on the work of experts to help shape future strategies to increase action and investment in activities and policies that foster the development and preservation of cognitive reserve.  The IFA joins with leading agencies and experts around the world in being a critical voice to efforts that foster cognitive reserve and cognitive reserve building activities around the world.

Cognition is one of the major predictors of day-to-day functional ability.  While healthy life expectancy is slowly increasing, between 10 to 20% of older people will experience some cognitive impairment. 47 million people currently live with cognitive impairment severe enough to limit their ability to function in society.  The impact on families, communities and governments is staggering, with worldwide dementia costs alone estimated at $818 billion USD per year.

To read the full consensus statement, click here.

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