Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why are some 80-plus-year-old seniors as sharp as people 30 years younger? - Chicago Sun-Times

Why are some 80-plus-year-old seniors as sharp as people 30 years younger? - Chicago Sun-Times

I sincerely hope that I will get this lucky when I make 80+.
“Some have less than a high school education. We have people who have medical degrees,” she said. “We have people at 80 who are going to the gym five days a week and leading exercise classes and people who still smoke a pack a day and have for 30 years.”

“There is no one path to SuperAging,” she said, adding that researchers believe that all participants provide clues into the way the aging brain functions.

Publication of the research from Rogalski’s group, which has studied the SuperAging phenomenon for more than four years, is pending. But the early data is giving intriguing clues into the mystery of aging.

Those qualified for the study undergo extensive tests of memory, IQ and executive function. There are DNA blood tests and MRIs of their brains. Eighteen months after the initial three-day screen, they are asked to report back to the lab for another two days of testing. They will be part of the study as long as they are alive and willing to participate.

Some of the MRIs revealed the possibility that their brains shared characteristics with younger brains atypical of an average brain in an 80-year-old. The SuperAgers’ brains weren’t shrinking in the same way most brains shrink as people age. The reason for this isn’t clear but as the study grows, researchers hope to learn about possible connections to lifestyle or genetics.

The SuperAgers are asked to donate their brains for further study after they die.
I hope that they will publish their research. Although surely it will be highly academic, I hope that I will be able to understand their findings!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are now moderated because one random commenter chose to get comment happy. What doesn't get published is up to my discretion. Of course moderating policy is subject to change. Thanks!