Precision aging: Applying precision medicine to the field of cognitive aging

Lee Ryan, Meredith Hay, Matt J. Huentelman, Audrey Duarte, Tatjana Rundek, Bonnie Levin, Anja Soldan, Corinne Pettigrew, Matthias R. Mehl, Carol A. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The current "one size fits all" approach to our cognitive aging population is not adequate to close the gap between cognitive health span and lifespan. In this review article, we present a novel model for understanding, preventing, and treating age-related cognitive impairment (ARCI) based on concepts borrowed from precision medicine. We will discuss how multiple risk factors can be classified into risk categories because of their interrelatedness in real life, the genetic variants that increase sensitivity to, or ameliorate, risk for ARCI, and the brain drivers or common mechanisms mediating brain aging. Rather than providing a definitive model of risk for ARCI and cognitive decline, the Precision Aging model is meant as a starting point to guide future research. To that end, after briefly discussing key risk categories, genetic risks, and brain drivers, we conclude with a discussion of steps that must be taken to move the field forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number128
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - 2019


  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive decline
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Risk for Alzheimer's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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