A Workshop on Cognitive Aging and Impairment in the 9/11-Exposed Population

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 14;18(2):681. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020681.


The terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 potentially exposed more than 400,000 responders, workers, and residents to psychological and physical stressors, and numerous hazardous pollutants. In 2011, the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) was mandated to monitor and treat persons with 9/11-related adverse health conditions and conduct research on physical and mental health conditions related to the attacks. Emerging evidence suggests that persons exposed to 9/11 may be at increased risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. To investigate further, the WTCHP convened a scientific workshop that examined the natural history of cognitive aging and impairment, biomarkers in the pathway of neurodegenerative diseases, the neuropathological changes associated with hazardous exposures, and the evidence of cognitive decline and impairment in the 9/11-exposed population. Invited participants included scientists actively involved in health-effects research of 9/11-exposed persons and other at-risk populations. Attendees shared relevant research results from their respective programs and discussed several options for enhancements to research and surveillance activities, including the development of a multi-institutional collaborative research network. The goal of this report is to outline the meeting's agenda and provide an overview of the presentation materials and group discussion.

Keywords: 9/11; World Trade Center Health Program; disaster epidemiology; emerging medical conditions; mild cognitive impairment; review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Aging*
  • Environmental Pollutants*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders*
  • New York City
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks*


  • Environmental Pollutants