Impact of Cognitive Impairment Across Specialties: Summary of a Report From the U13 Conference Series
Contributing GEDC Faculty
Dr. Chris Carpenter is dual-board certified in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine and is Professor in Emergency Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. His funded research interests include diagnostics, dementia, falls prevention, and implementation science. He is on the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine Board of Directors as well as the American College of Emergency Physicians Clinical Policy Committee. He is also Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Academic Emergency Medicine, Associate Editor of both Annals of Internal Medicine’s ACP Journal Club and the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. He co-led the collaboration to develop the American College of Emergency Physician/American Geriatrics Society Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines As well as the International Standards for Reporting of Implementation Research (StaRI) reporting guidelines. He is also faculty for Emergency Medical Abstracts and Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine courses, as well as a contributor to Skeptics Guide to Emergency Medicine and Sketchy EBM.
Although declines in cognitive capacity are assumed to be a characteristic of aging, increasing evidence shows that it is age‐related disease, rather than age itself, that causes cognitive impairment. Even so, older age is a primary risk factor for cognitive decline, and with individuals living longer as a result of medical advances, cognitive impairment and dementia are increasing in prevalence. On March 26 to 27, 2018, the American Geriatrics Society convened a conference in Bethesda, MD, to explore cognitive impairment across the subspecialties. Bringing together representatives from several subspecialties, this was the third of three conferences, supported by a U13 grant from the National Institute on Aging, to aid recipients of Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists’ Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) in integrating geriatrics into their subspecialties. Scientific sessions focused on the impact of cognitive impairment, sensory contributors, comorbidities, links between delirium and dementia, and issues of informed consent in cognitively impaired populations. Discussions highlighted the complexity not only of cognitive health itself, but also of the bidirectional relationship between cognitive health and the health of other organ systems. Thus, conference participants noted the importance of multidisciplinary team science in future aging research. This article summarizes the full conference report, “The Impact of Cognitive Impairment Across Specialties,” and notes areas where GEMSSTAR scholars can contribute to progress as they embark on their careers in aging research. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:2011–2017, 2019Full text at Wiley Online Library