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Living Long & Well in the 21st Century Strategic Directions for Research on Aging
Research Goals
A. Improve our understanding of healthy aging and disease and disability among older adults.
B. Continue to develop and disseminate information about interventions to reduce disease and disability and improve the health and quality of life of older adults.
C. Improve our understanding of and develop interventions to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias of aging, and the aging brain.
D. Improve our understanding of the consequences of an aging society and provide that information to inform intervention development and policy decisions.
E. Improve our ability to reduce health disparities and eliminate health inequities among older adults.
Infrastructure and Resource Goal
F. Support the infrastructure and resources needed to promote high-quality research and communicate its results.
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Living Long & Well in the 21st Century: Strategic Directions for Research on Aging

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We are pleased to share through this document our best insights into the future of research on aging and the role of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in realizing that future. These broad strategic goals and objectives have been identified through discussions among NIA staff members with input from the National Advisory Council on Aging, NIA’s Board of Scientific Counselors, and other representatives of the research and advocacy communities.

As we look to the future, we foresee unprecedented opportunities brought about by advances in science and technology coupled with the challenge of using our best scientific judgment to make difficult choices, in some cases, about which areas of research to pursue. Our NIA intramural and extramural scientists work alongside our grantees and partners in other Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), other government agencies, and the private sector to build synergy and leverage resources to help make it possible for older adults to experience healthier, more productive lives. We strive to gain a clearer understanding of what we term “normal” aging along with deeper insights into a multitude of diseases and conditions with increased risk and severity among older adults. And we use that knowledge to develop and test more effective interventions that will indeed allow people to live long and well in the 21st century.

We hope that readers will find the information in this document a useful resource for facilitating and advancing dialogue about research on aging.

Richard J. Hodes, M.D.
Director, National Institute on Aging
November 2007

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Page last updated May 05, 2008