Some Older Adults Retain Youthful Memory Abilities
According to a study out of the Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, some loss of memory is often considered an inevitable part of aging, but some new research reveals how some people appear to escape that fate.
Most older adults experience a gradual decline in memory ability, but there are some – dubbed “super agers” that possess unusually resilient memories. This study included adults aged 60 to 80 with 17 in a group that had performed well on memory tests in their younger years, while 23 of the participants had just normal adults. They also added in 41 young adults aged 18 to 35 as a control.
“Previous research on super aging has compared people over age 85 to those who are middle-aged,” said one researcher. “Our study is exciting because we focused on people around or just after typical retirement age – mostly in their 60s and 70s – and investigated those who could remember as well as people in their 20s. The imaging revealed these individuals had brains with youthful characteristics.
Another researcher said, “We also examined a group of regions known as the salience network, which is involved in identifying information that is important and needs attention for specific situations, and also found preserved thickness among super-agers in several regions, including the anterior insula and orbitofrontal cortex.”
Understanding the differences between the super-agers and regular mature adults can lead scientists to figure out processes involving memory and help them produce therapies to help those older adults dealing with memory loss as they age.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.