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Conference Session 4: Taking Action: Promoting Healthy Brain Aging & Resilience
Friday, October 28, 2022, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM PST
Category: Conferences

Taking Action: Promoting Healthy Brain Aging & Resilience 

Session Facilitator: Margaret Neal 

Nutrition and Healthy Aging Brain: What's New and What Can We Do?


  • Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH (Oregon Health & Science University) 


This talk will highlight recent research on nutrition and healthy aging brain, and discuss actions all of us can take to promote improved nutrition for all older adults.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand recent research on nutrition and healthy brain aging.
  • Recognize current gaps in nutrition to promote healthy brain aging.
  • Articulate strategies to fill gaps so all older adults can optimize nutrition for healthy brain aging.

Sleep & the Aging Brain


  • Michael V. Vitiello, PhD (University of Washington) 


Sleep quality, cognitive function and brain aging are intimately related. Sufficient quality sleep is necessary for normal cognitive function and brain health. Conversely, poor quality and insufficient sleep result in both immediate and long term compromised cognitive function and brain health. Common sleep disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea further complicate this relationship adding a further layer of compromise to sleep with subsequent additional compromise to cognition and brain function. Over time insufficient or disordered sleep can result in brain aging and cognitive compromise that can express as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementias. Sleep is a modifiable risk factor for brain aging. These sleep/brain relationships will be briefly reviewed and recommendations for interventions to improve sleep will be offered with the goal of slowing brain aging and related cognitive decline.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize that sufficient quality sleep is necessary for normal cognitive function and brain health.
  • Recognize that poor sleep quality, insufficient sleep and sleep disorders result in both immediate and long term compromised cognitive function and brain health.
  • Recognize that disordered sleep may be a risk factor for developing dementing disorders.
  • Recognize that sleep is a modifiable risk factor for brain aging.
  • Recognize the importance of implementing interventions to maximize sleep quality earlier in the lifespan to slow brain aging.

Mindful Movement and Meditation for Brain Health


  • Diane Butera, 500RYT-E/YACP (Mindful Wellness) 


Mindfulness is consistently defined as a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment. Research on mindfulness has identified these benefits: stress reduction-which leads to overall good health and resilience; boosts to working memory; focus; less emotional reactivity; more cognitive flexibility. Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Good sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Most people think that relaxation is very simple; just recline and close your eyes. We are tired, you go to bed and think that is relaxation. But unless we have released muscular, mental, and emotional tensions, we may not be relaxed.

Format of the session will include practicing gentle mindful movements to calm the nervous system and relax the body, followed by guided meditation to promote brain health and sleep by deeply resting the body and mind. For the guided meditation, it is recommended to have a place to lay down if possible. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the definition of mindfulness and some of the practices that develop mindfulness.
  • Gain an understanding of how stress affects wellness and aging, and the importance of good sleep.
  • Practice mindfulness tools to calm the nervous system, cultivate resilience, and experience good sleep.

Continuing Education Credits

This conference session has been approved for 2 CE credits (NASW Oregon Chapter) and 2 AFH training credits. There is a $10 fee per session for NASW credits. Regular Certificates of Attendance can also be issued. To receive a certificate, attendees must attend the session(s) for their entire length and complete a post-session evaluation survey.

This is the fourth of four sessions of OGA's 2022 virtual conference. You can register for individual sessions or, at a discount, for the entire conference series. For an overview of all sessions, please visit the conference page.

Register here!

Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH is Professor and Chief of Geriatrics in the Division of General Internal Medicine & Geriatrics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Her research focuses on promoting a healthy lifestyle in older adults, with an emphasis on tai chi for fall prevention. She has been part of the investigator team for three randomized trials that showed tai chi reduces falls by at least 50%, among other positive outcomes. She is Director of Integrating Special Populations for the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute, focusing on inclusion of older adults in research and training research teams who study diseases of older adults but have no aging expertise to successfully include older adults in trials. Other research interests include improving primary care of older adults with dementia, interprofessional education and team-based implementation of best practices for care of older adults. She co-directs OHSU’s Healthy Aging Alliance.

Michael V. Vitiello, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle. He is an internationally recognized expert in sleep, circadian rhythms, and sleep disorders in aging. His research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, has focused on the causes, consequences and treatments of disturbed sleep, circadian rhythms, and cognition in older adults. He is the author of over 500 scientific articles, reviews, chapters, editorials and abstracts and his work has been cited over 26,000 times. His most recent research focuses on improving the sleep of osteoarthritis older adults to reduce their osteoarthritis-related symptoms such as pain, fatigue and depression, and their healthcare utilization and related costs. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Sleep Medicine Reviews, and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Gerontological Society of America. He has served as: President of the Sleep Research Society and of the Sleep Research Society Foundation; Chair of the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board, National Institutes of Health; Scientific Program Chair of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies; a board member of the Sleep Research Society, the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, the National Sleep Foundation, and an editorial board member for multiple scientific journals.

Diane Butera, 500RYT-E/YACP is a certified Yoga Alliance 500 RYT-E/YACP movement educator. Diane’s diagnosis of ovarian cancer 12 years ago led her to become a strong advocate for healing through mindfulness practices, particularly guided meditation for reducing stress, healing, and better sleep. She has developed, and taught a training curriculum for guided meditation, used by hundreds in the healing professions. She founded and operated a highly successful, large movement studio for many years. She has taught through AARP, Lane Community College Successful Aging Program, Oregon Cancer Foundation, Trauma Healing Project, and Retirement and Assisted Living facilities. She leads continuing education, retreats, and specialized workshops in areas of therapeutic yoga including mindful movement for healthy aging, yoga for strength, foam rolling, stress reduction, guided meditation for better sleep, yoga for the pelvic floor, yoga for disabilities/injuries, healthy bones, and back care. She is also a wellness coach, helping her clients continue healthy aging with good sleep, nutrition, and physical fitness.

Supporting Sponsors for this session: 


Session Sponsors for this session: 


The entire conference series is sponsored by: