The Physical Performance Across the Lifespan Study (PALS), a cohort of the MURDOCK Study, successfully closed out enrollment and provides an important basis for our understanding of the physical, environmental, and genetic factors which, over a typical lifespan, contribute to age-related changes in physical and cognitive capabilities. The PALS cohort enrolled 1,000 MURDOCK Study participants ages 30 and older who live in eligible zip codes.
A paper announcing initial findings from this study has drawn significant attention, appearing in The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences and generating extensive media attention, including articles in the Wall Street Journal and USAToday. Researchers have discovered that physical declines begin sooner in life than typically detected, according to the paper’s lead author Katherine Hall, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Duke. Information for the paper, “Physical Performance Across the Adult Life Span: Correlates With Age and Physical Activity,” was gathered from 775 of the study participants.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Miriam Morey
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Harvey Cohen
Investigators at Duke also have found that most of the cohort function physically better than norms among other populations. Researchers have begun evaluating data from the stored blood samples of participants, and visit 2 continues for participants who have not completed follow-up assessments yet.
Study requirements included a blood sample; a medical questionnaire about general health; brief physical and cognitive assessments; wearing an accelerometer to measure activity levels for seven days following enrollment; and a follow-up visit after two years with an additional blood sample and physical and cognitive assessments.