Activity Engagement in Cognitive Aging: A Review of the Evidence The population of older adults is rapidly increasing, as is the number and type of products and interventions proposed to prevent or reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Advocacy and prevention are part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA’s) scope of practice documents, and speech-language pathologists must have basic ... Article
Article  |   May 01, 2013
Activity Engagement in Cognitive Aging: A Review of the Evidence
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yvonne Rogalski
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
  • Muriel Quintana
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
  • Disclosure: As noted in the Acknowledgment, authors Yvonne Rogalski and Muriel Quintana received funding for the work described in this article through an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Advancing Academic-Research Careers Award.
    Disclosure: As noted in the Acknowledgment, authors Yvonne Rogalski and Muriel Quintana received funding for the work described in this article through an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Advancing Academic-Research Careers Award.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   May 01, 2013
Activity Engagement in Cognitive Aging: A Review of the Evidence
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, May 2013, Vol. 23, 1-12. doi:10.1044/nnsld23.1.35
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, May 2013, Vol. 23, 1-12. doi:10.1044/nnsld23.1.35

The population of older adults is rapidly increasing, as is the number and type of products and interventions proposed to prevent or reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Advocacy and prevention are part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA’s) scope of practice documents, and speech-language pathologists must have basic awareness of the evidence contributing to healthy cognitive aging. In this article, we provide a brief overview outlining the evidence on activity engagement and its effects on cognition in older adults. We explore the current evidence around the activities of eating and drinking with a discussion on the potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, alcohol, and coffee. We investigate the evidence on the hypothesized neuroprotective effects of social activity, the evidence on computerized cognitive training, and the emerging behavioral and neuroimaging evidence on physical activity. We conclude that actively aging using a combination of several strategies may be our best line of defense against cognitive decline.

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