Background: The Center for Vital Longevity was established in 2010 at UT Dallas and is dedicated to unlocking the secrets of the aging mind. The Center plays an internationally recognized role in conducting research to understand how the aging brain works and changes over time; how to maximize cognitive health; and what interventions can prevent or repair decline in memory and other cognitive functions. It is led by Dr. Michael Rugg, Director and Dr. Denise Park, Director of Research, both fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Center consists of six labs headed by internationally renowned faculty who lead a powerhouse of neuroscientific research, and a staff of over 50 research and support professionals.
CASE FOR SUPPORT
Research Success: Over the last five years, the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) has been one of the top research producing entities at UT Dallas. The success of CVL has allowed the University to attract additional research funding and support to bolster CVL initiatives, as well as University wide programs. Your support will provide vital funding for current needs and opportunities at the Center, not covered by highly-restricted federal research grants. This includes fostering the next generation of scientists - graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who embody the future of academic research, teaching, and discoveries.
A Unique Focus: The Center for Vital Longevity at UT Dallas is unique, pursuing critical research that contributes to innovations that will allow people to enjoy cognitive vitality throughout the entirety of their lives. Researchers at the Center are working to address one of the greatest challenges facing our society: ensuring the long-term cognitive health and vitality of our citizens. With your support, our dedicated team can advance the frontiers of aging-mind research and make discoveries that will lead to improved health and well-being for life.
Addressing a Crisis: According to the World Health Organization (WHO,) the number of people living with dementia worldwide is on track to triple by 2050 with an estimated cost to society of $2 trillion by 2030, making Alzheimer’s Disease one of the costliest public health crises. Research at the Center aims to identify, as early in life as possible, brain markers that predict who is most likely to age successfully and who is more likely to fall victim to age-related cognitive decline. This research will lead to critical advances in prevention and allow for more informed decision making, leading to significant economic impact. Your support is needed to accelerate these efforts.
Prevention is Key: There is currently no cure for dementia, and treatments designed to prevent or halt progressive deterioration may be the first step. Researchers at the Center for Vital Longevity are engaged in predicting who might be at risk of Alzheimer’s disease long before symptoms appear, and developing ways to decrease the prevalence of dementia. These scientists are helping us to change the way that we think about our brains, causing us to give second thought to the steps we can take earlier in our lives to preserve our cognitive vitality. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the CDC received the first funding from Congress to develop comprehensive heart disease and stroke prevention programs that today save thousands of lives each year. With your support, CVL’s efforts to understand how to prevent cognitive decline may lead to similar efforts, saving lives from the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias through prevention.