$3.3 million grant goes to UK research team to study brain health

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 23, 2017) ― A team of researchers led by Professor Suzanne Segerstrom of the University of Kentucky Department of Psychology has received a $3.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to continue its study of healthy aging.

The “Thought, Stress, and Immunity” study has been investigating the interactions between psychological and immunological health among older adults since 2001. Over the next five years, the study will expand to include brain health.

“Infections and products of the immune system are being recognized as important drivers of brain aging,” Segerstrom said.

“We hope to demonstrate that as the mind and the immune system ‘talk’ to each other, there are consequences for the brain. If that’s true, improving psychological and immunological health could improve brain health and reduce the risk for neurological diseases as people get older,” she said.

Collaborators associated with the study include Dr. Charles T. Lutz , Associate Professor Brian Gold and Professor Frederick Schmitt of the UK College of Medicine; Professor David Berry of the UK College of Arts and Sciences; Assistant Professor Nathan Johnson of the UK College of Health Sciences; Associate Professor Philip Westgate of the UK College of Public Health; and Jonathan Hakun Pennsylvania State University Department of Psychology.

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