Many people associate ageing with memory loss and decline in cognitive skills, however new research has asked the question why some older adults ‘don’t’ lose their memory?
Doctors from the Massachusetts General Hospital have been studying the brains of older adults affectionately known as ‘superagers’- adults aged 60-80 who have the brain power similar to that of a person 20-30.
In this study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers examined the structural integrity of brain networks and regions within a ‘superagers’ brain. They noted that the thickness of a number of regions, including the anterior temporal cortex, rostral medial prefrontal cortex, and anterior midcingulate cortex, correlated with improved memory performance, as did the volume of the hippocampus – which is important for memory retention.
The researchers suggest that older adults with youthful memory abilities have youthful brain regions in key brain networks that maintain memory function.
Dr Bradford Dickerson who was involved in the study and based at the Massachusetts General Hospital said that understanding which factors protect against memory decline could lead to important advances in preventing and treating age-related memory loss and possibly even various forms of dementia.
“We desperately need to understand how some older adults are able to function very well into their seventh, eight, and ninth decades. This could provide important clues about how to prevent the decline in memory and thinking that accompanies aging in most of us.” Dr Dickerson said.
Dr Dickson and colleagues are now part of a team of researchers which are aiming to find new ways to promote healthy brain function over the course of a person’s lifespan.
Have you study the effects of alcohol consumption as a youth to dementia. I think it is "Garbage" to not consider heredity genes if the dementia starts after 75 yrs. What about documentation what an aged dementia effected person did all their lives, not just the end of their working life. I do have trouble not getting annoyed with all the stupid dementia reasons that the media keep coming up with (do these people receive payment for the outlandish results they keep coming up with? Is that the reason we have to hear constantly such rubbish?) How do the true research medical doctors expect people not to feel ashamed of getting dementia!