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Brain Aging Starts Before the Age of Thirty PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 19 March 2009 13:26

Are you one of those who wondered why at 30 you already forget where you laid your keys just five minutes ago, Read More...

or why you have a hard time remembering someone’s name that you have met many times? That question may be answered with the fact that our mental abilities actually begin declining at age 27.

Our mental abilities actually reach their peak at age 22, with decline starting not too many years after, leaving only a small gap of peak brain activity based on new research conducted by the University of Virginia. The group of researchers used tests commonly used to diagnose conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, over a seven year period. They studied 2,000 men and women from ages of 18 to 60 that were asked to solve visual puzzles, repeat words and recall story details, as well as recognize patterns made with letter and symbols.


Research participants were overall in good health and well educated. Based on their test results, the researchers discovered nine out of twelve tests resulted in top performance being achieved at age 22. Test evaluating brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability resulted in the first marked decline in scores starting at age 27. The participants on average retained most of their memory until 37 with some tests checking vocabulary or general information showing gaining memory up until age 60.

Professor Timothy Salthouse, lead researcher of the new study released in the most recent addition of the journal Neurobiology of Aging, said, “Some aspects of age-related cognitive decline begin in healthy, educated adults when they are in their 20s and 30s." According to Rebecca Wood, with the Alzheimer's Research Trust, “Understanding more about how healthy brains decline could help us understand what goes wrong in serious diseases like Alzheimer's.” She also said, “Alzheimer's is not a natural part of getting old; it is a physical disease that kills brain cells, affecting tens of thousands of under 65s too.”

Our memory is vital in our everyday lives; whether it is being used to remember our children’s lives as they grow up, a favorite recipe, a birth date, aspect’s of our careers or what many feel are simple things, such as to pick up our children from school. With the new research, we may see that steps to retain memory should start long before retirement. Our brains may be checking out long before we do, with the life expectancy of an average American being around 80. More research is need to learn more in regards to memory loss and retention in hopes of warding off the dreadful conditions of Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia. For now you can exercise, according to some research it could help to improve brain function and ward off memory loss.

Source: Heather Hajek 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 April 2009 13:21
 

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Brain Aging Starts Before the Age of Thirty

Are you one of those who wondered why at 30 you already forget where you laid your keys just five minutes ago, Read More...

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