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Aging starts in the womb

Lifespan mediators and moderators of healthy brain and cognition

About the project

Cognitive decline in aging seems inevitable, but its extent is not. Older adults` brains and cognition vary widely. Recently it has been recognized that late-life functional variation is influenced by factors present in development. It is insufficient to search for mechanisms in old age to understand determinants of healthy aging.


To identify the impact of early life factors on neurocognitive lifespan changes and aging. This is crucial to understand the early mechanisms, and to identify what and how residual variance may be affected by late-life factors. Genetic and experiential factors interact throughout life to shape brain and cognition. Hence, aging starts in the womb, and a number of risk factors for poor cognitive function and decline in aging may be similar to those for aberrant development.

We hypothesize that factors affecting brain and cognition in aging will often do so through a life-long accumulation of impact and not be specific to aging, may often represent quantitative rather than qualitative differences between health and decline, and constitute a range of environmental and genetic factors and their interplay. A unique combination of a longitudinal neurocognitive imaging experimental approach and registry data, national and international cross-disciplinary collaboration, yields novel possibilities to uncover determinants of healthy aging of brain and cognition, preventive and intervention measures to reduce cognitive decline.


The Research Council of Norway (FRIMEDBIO - Young talented researchers) 2015 - 2022.

Published July 2, 2015 12:42 PM - Last modified Sep. 8, 2021 11:36 AM