SAN FRANCISCO — Posit Science Corporation CEO Jeff Zimman gave testimony to the White House Conference on Aging regional meeting in Santa Clara and called on the administration to launch a bold initiative for cognitive fitness with the vigor of President Kennedy’s 1961 initiative for physical fitness.
“Most challenges of aging have their roots in brain health,” Zimman said, noting the costs of neurological disorders associated with aging. “But brain health also goes to most other issues of aging,” he added,” including mobility, autonomy and living a life with dignity.”
Zimman said that numerous university studies that show that cognitive decline is not an inevitable part of getting older.
“Neuroscientists have proven that there is lifelong neuroplasticity – that the brain can change itself physically, chemically and functionally at any age,” Zimman testified.
He said that Posit Science Corporation has put together a global consortium of brain scientists to develop, test, refine and validate exercises that rejuvenate the brain. According to Zimman, such exercises can improve cognitive function in older adults by decades.
“Let us call on our government to launch a new initiative with the vigor displayed four decades ago,” Zimman said. “While President Kennedy’s initiative emphasized the importance of physical fitness to our youth, this initiative must emphasize the importance of cognitive fitness to all of us as we age.”
Noting President Bush’s call for an “ownership society,” Zimman said that the government must support the efforts of its citizens to take control of their brain health. He urged the panel to initiate programs that promote cognitive fitness in the home, community centers and workplace and to fund research, development, validation studies and distribution of brain fitness programs.
“Our ability to actually enhance brain function as we age changes everything,” Zimman concluded. “It dramatically reduces costs for care, it moves our focus on technology from addressing failure to promoting success, and it recognizes that hope and self-actualization should stretch across the entire lifespan.”
Posit Science is a venture-backed company based in San Francisco that is developing brain health programs. Its programs are based on recent breakthroughs in the science of neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to change itself at any age. The company’s initial offerings are targeted at healthy aging. Its website is www.positscience.com.