The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has awarded the Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award to Dr. Becca Levy, of the Yale School of Public Health; Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, of the National Institute on Aging; Dr. Alan B. Zonderman, of the National Institute on Aging; Mr. Martin D. Slade, of the Yale schools of public health and medicine; Dr. Juan Troncoso, of Johns Hopkins University; and Dr. Susan Resnick, of the National Institute on Aging.
[Photo: Dr. Becca Levy]
The honor recognizes insightful and innovative publications on aging and life course development in the behavioral and social sciences and is named after social psychologist Dr. Richard Kalish.
Dr. Levy, Dr. Ferrucci, Dr. Zonderman, Mr. Slade, Dr. Troncoso, and Dr. Resnick earned the Kalish Award for their article “A Culture-Brain Link: Negative Age Stereotypes Predict Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers,” which appeared in the journal Psychology and Aging.
The article reports results of the first study to demonstrate that a culture-based risk factor — namely, stress-inducing negative age stereotypes that are assimilated — can predict pathological brain-structure changes that are biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, it showed that among older persons holding more negative age stereotypes, compared to those holding more positive age stereotypes, there was significantly steeper hippocampal-volume decline as well as a significantly greater accumulation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. This study was conducted with participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, who were dementia free at baseline and developed the Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers decades later.
The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting in November.