Director's Message

Letter from the Director

Welcome to the Longevity Center.  Throughout life, joys, accomplishments, and other meaningful events form the rich template of our memories.  As life expectancy increases, people are able to enjoy more significant moments—provided they remain healthy and sharp.  Since 1991, the UCLA Longevity Center, part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at UCLA, has focused on helping people live longer and better.  It achieves this mission through cutting-edge research, innovative education, comprehensive patient care, and ongoing community service.  By translating scientific discoveries into practical applications, the Center has distinguished itself as a pioneering leader in the field of longevity and healthy aging.

The Center’s steadfast commitment to improving quality of life focuses on early detection and prevention of age-related maladies, including memory loss and cognitive decline.  Research shows that age is the single greatest risk factor for developing memory loss.  With Baby Boomers now beginning to turn 65, they are reaching the age when risk for Alzheimer’s disease climbs to 10 percent.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2050 people 65 and over will comprise more than 20 percent of the U.S. population.  Today, five-million-plus Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease—a number projected to triple in the next few decades.  While our UCLA scientists and others are still pursuing a cure, we have made great strides in our understanding of both genetic and non-genetic factors that impact Alzheimer’s risk, and current treatments are helping patients live productive lives much longer than ever before.

The Longevity Center’s dedication to this mission has transformed what was once a path of despair into one of hope.  We focus on excelling in five critical areas:  scientific research, patient care, prevention, education, and community service.  As you explore our site, you will learn how these five pillars of excellence help advance our mission of living better longer.

 

Gary W. Small

Director, UCLA Longevity Center

Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging

Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences