You are here

The Aging Brain Center

Delirium is an acute confusional state that often follows surgery or serious illness, complicating hospital stays for at least 20 percent of the 12.5 million patients age 65 or older who are hospitalized each year.

The Aging Brain Center is dedicated to advancing medical knowledge about delirium, and its interface with dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease through research and education.  Our vision is to reduce delirium and its complications for patients worldwide.

This mission is realized through high quality research studies and is supported by a dedicated staff, interdisciplinary collaborators and trainees in a supportive environment utilizing high-quality, innovative methods and technology. The Aging Brain Center focuses on examining risk factors, pathophysiology, intervention strategies and clinical trials. The center’s work also examines broader societal implications including costs, policy and caregiver issues for conditions associated with cognitive impairment in older adults.

The Aging Brain Center is distinguished by our faculty’s commitment to mentor the next generation of researchers in the field, and disseminate our findings to clinicians, policy makers and the community.

Significant impacts and research focus areas include:

  • The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), developed by IFAR Aging Brain Center Director Dr. Sharon Inouye, is the world’s most widely used method for detecting delirium.
  • The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), a model of hospital care that has been shown to reduce the incidence of delirium by 40 percent, is used in more than 200 hospitals worldwide.
  • Studies on the impact of delirium on hospitalized patients may ultimately change the way Alzheimer’s patients are cared for in the future.
  • Studies that demonstrate cognitive reserve may protect against cognitive decline in older persons.