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Research on "Superagers" Offers Clues for Retaining Sharp Memory in Old Age

February 22, 2018

The AP (2/22, Neergaard) reports scientists on the “flip side of the disappointing hunt for new drugs to fight or prevent Alzheimer’s disease” are peeking into the brains of “superagers” in their 80s and 90s who retain “the same sharp memory as someone several decades younger.” Parts of the brain shrink with age, but “it turns out that superagers’ brains aren’t shrinking nearly as fast as their peers’” and in the Northwestern University’s SuperAging study they appear to harbor many more of a type of nerve cell in a deep brain region important for attention. These superagers are “more than just an oddity or a rarity,” said neuroscientist Molly Wagster of the National Institute on Aging, adding, “There’s the potential for learning an enormous amount and applying it to the rest of us, and even to those who may be on a trajectory for some type of neurodegenerative disease.”

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Last modified on 02/26/2018

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