LBC's and CCACE to inform Government policy

LBCs and CCACE to inform Government policy

Ian Deary at the Government Office for Science's seminar, with Sir Mark Walport (pointing) to the left


The findings from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 and 1936 studies, and CCACE expertise, were called upon by the UK Government. On 23rd November 2016, at the Royal Society in London, the Government Office for Science held a small invited seminar on, "Evidence and Options for Preserving Cognition Through Life". It was Chaired by Sir Mark Walport, the Chief Scientific Advisor to HM Government. There were 11 invited scientists at the seminar, two of them from Edinburgh's CCACE: Ian Deary and Richard Morris. There were representatives from the Government's Departments of Health, Work and Pensions, Education, and Cabinet Office.

"It was a super meeting", said CCACE's and the LBC's Director Ian Deary. "It took cognitive ageing seriously as a scientific and policy issue and was asking two big and sensible questions: what can be done through the life course to enhance and preserve cognitive functions?, and are there interventions in older age that can boost and retain thinking skills? I think I ended up talking a bit more than I'd planned to, and I think that is because the Lothian Birth Cohort Studies and the CCACE environment have produced so many findings relevant to these questions, especially the former. I found the meeting stimulating because the scientists were presenting and arguing about what was the best evidence, and the Government representatives were sifting that discussion for things that were useful to policy".

The seminar was the start of a process, part of which will be to collect the best evidence about healthy cognitive ageing, and explore how it can be put in to practice.


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