The Daily Brain is a website for people who love asking questions and searching for answers – especially when the answers lead to new questions.

 

Syndicated by

Search
Get the Books

 

 

 

 

Featured Goodies
« Can Energy Drinks Cause Heart Attacks? | Main | What Exactly is Kratom? »
Friday
Oct122012

Meet the "SuperAgers": Elderly People Whose Brains Don't Age

Over at the excellent British Psychological Society Digest, psychologist Christian Jarrett introduces us to a group of 12 elderly folks whose brains appear to be immune to the physical effects of aging.

This remarkable dozen (average age 84) was identified by a research team led by Theresa Harrison at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University who measured the SuperAgers' exceptional mental performance. Quoting from the article:

They outperformed 10 typical healthy older folk (average age 83) on a test that involved recalling lists of words, and they matched the performance of 14 healthy middle-aged volunteers (average age 58). The SuperAgers also matched the middle-aged on tests of naming things, attention and task switching, and identifying drawings by category.

The researchers used a structural brain scanner to examine the SuperAgers' brains, and were astounded to find that somehow their brains have resisted the typical erosion nearly all of us suffer over time.

Whereas the typical older participants had thinner cortices and smaller average brain volumes (244mm cubed average) than the middle-aged (306mm cubed), the SuperAgers' brain surfaces were just as thick as the middle-aged and their brain volumes (288mm cubed) not significantly different in statistical terms. Moreover, there was one brain region - the left anterior cingulate - that was actually thicker in the SuperAgers than in the middle-aged....across the groups, brain volume correlated with episodic memory performance.

The question is, why are the SuperAgers' brains able to thwart the advance of time, and are there behaviors that others can engage in to keep their brains young as well? None of this is clear, at least not yet.

The first round of this study didn't dig into lifestyle differences, and it's not clear what role genetics plays in the SuperAgers' super-brains either.  But you can be sure that this group will be the subject of several more studies attempting to answer those questions -- with particular focus on what the answers might reveal about defeating Alzheimer's disease. Quoting from the article:

"Identifying the underlying factors that promote this trajectory of unusually successful cognitive aging may lead to novel insights for preventing age-related cognitive impairments or strategies for evading the more severe changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease," the researchers said.

H/T BPS Research Digest


blog advertising helps support this site

References (19)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Then again, the opposite could be true. - When we played softball, Id steal second base, feel guilty and go back. - Woody Allen Born 1935
  • Response
    Response: absorbedpower.com
    Hey there , it was a wonderful publish for genuine about femdom! Thank you and I enjoy for real mistresses!
  • Response
    Interesting post reminds me of another gem. - I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, its the government. - Woody Allen Born 1935
  • Response
    Response: infopills.net
    hustle dance video activation yuo tube david geddes youtube addicting video games.
  • Response
    Response: muff.com.au
    Greet!
  • Response
    Florissant dentists
  • Response
    How many times can we enter?
  • Response
    Response: marloporas.com
    I can see you happen to be an expert at your field! I am launching a internet site soon, and your details will probably be very fascinating for me.. Thanks for all your support and wishing you all the success.
  • Response
    tVbqXUF Buy Xanax
  • Response
    Response: sDHdNuOy
    David DiSalvo - The Daily Brain - Meet the "SuperAgers": Elderly People Whose Brains Don't Age
  • Response
    tips on how to lose stomach fat
  • Response
    Response: Zulily Promo Codes
    pexgxlheaqt online roulette haaihjv
  • Response
    Response: Guess Promo Codes
    Excellent website: Do you agree that one of the greatest accounting programs on the market is Quick Books Pro for everyday use. I am searching for some input on what to purchase. Thanks again!
  • Response
    I found this post very helpful for me, thanks for sharing and keep the great job up
  • Response
    Response: Sephora Coupons
    Hey Im curious if I may use this post in one of my blogs if I link back to you? Thanks
  • Response
    What I wouldnt give to have a debate with you about this.  You just say so many things that come from nowhere that Im pretty sure Id have a fair shot.  Your blog is great visually, I mean people wont be bored.  But others who can see past the videos and the layout wont ...
  • Response
    Response: Nike Promo Code
    My hope is that you may just compose some much more right here about this topic , I cant wait to acquire additional nice juicy infos!
  • Response
  • Response
    David DiSalvo - The Daily Brain - Meet the "SuperAgers": Elderly People Whose Brains Don't Age

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>