Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SuperAger Brain

No doubt you’ve heard that it’s ‘‘normal’’ for old age to be associated with ga radual decline in both memory and brain mass. Maybe not so much. A study printed in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society reported the identification of some cognitive SuperAgers; individuals whose brains appeared immune to age-related memory impairment and cortical volume. SuperAgers were defined as individuals over age 80 with episodic memory performance at least as good as normative values for 50- to 65-year-olds. What did the SuperAgers brains look like? cerebral cortex was significantly thicker than their healthy age-matched peers and displayed no atrophy compared to the 50- to 65-year-old healthy group. Unexpectedly, a region of left anterior cingulate cortex was significantly thicker in the SuperAgers than in both elderly and middle-aged controls. The question now is how to identify specific factors that resulted in this.

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