Presented at: The Role of Nutrition in Dementia Prevention and Management
A quarter century ago, William Evans and I released a book entitledBiomarkers: The 10 Keys to Prolonging Vitality (1992) to make thecase that the metrics of aging should not be chronological but ratherbiological. That concept was prefaced a quarter-century earlier inthe work of Nathan Shock, who emphasized functional declines inone of the earliest studies of aging cohorts. Those declining functionswith age represented cross-sectional mean data failed to emphasizethe growing individual variability, which is such an important descriptorof aging populations. That variability offers the opportunity toquestion the factors which, when observed longitudinally, may explainsome differences among those elders who age “successfully”and those with accelerated declining functions. At the bookends ofthose functions, that is to say biomarkers, which so importantly definehealthy aging, are the physical marker, muscle mass and strength,who’s decline we called Sarcopenia, and cognitive function and memory,which is the topic of this interesting conference. Surprisingly, itwas only about 40 years ago that nutritional factors and changingrequirements with age were focused upon as major interactants withage and biomarkers of aging. As the leading environmental factorthat might influence the slope of declining functions with age, dietand nutrition must be imperatives in our approach to the preventionof age related disease and functional decline.