A Thicker Brain & Memory Loss
Seniors who show no memory loss actually have thicker brains than people who do experience the age-related phenomenon, according to researchers.
In the study, conducted at Northwestern University, researchers used MRI scans to compare the cortex of people who had shown no age-related memory loss with those who had. The 12 people whose memory skills hadn’t declined had thicker cortexes than those who had lost memory skills. The cortex is linked to memory, attention, thought and language, among other vital functions.
The 12 people, dubbed SuperAgers, were all at least 80 and performed as well or even better than people 20 or 30 years younger on memory tests.
Senior study author Emily Rogalski said, though, that it was unclear how one can become a SuperAger. Lifestyle habits varied within the group. Some subjects smoked; others didn’t. Exercise habits also varied, and there is a possibility that SuperAgers simply exercised their brains more. In addition, there may be genetic factors.
The study was published in the “Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.”