A Clue On ‘Super Agers’

Share |

Researchers are a step closer to understanding the secrets of “super agers,” the lucky seniors who retain their memory, mental sharpness, and thinking skills for much longer than their peers. A team at Northwestern University performed brain scans on 24 super agers – whom they classified as people over 80 who scored as highly in memory test as those 15 to 30 years younger-and 12 cognitively average counterparts. Over a period of 18 months, the researchers looked for changes in thickness in the participants’ cortex, the outer layer of the brain responsible for thinking, memory, and decision making. They found that while all the seniors lost brain volume, the super agers retained twice as much as their peers. More research is now needed to understand what causes this lower rate of atrophy, reports CBSNews.com. “The most important aspect is to determine the possible genetic, social, and environmental factors that contribute to the super agers’ thicker cortices,” says Paul Wright, chair of neurology at north Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., who wasn’t involved in the study. “This may unlock the key to successful aging.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *