New clue on how to keep up with aging

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Certainly you know or knew someone who simply does not seem to grow old in mental terms and who even had a better memory than yours. All of this is due to a combination of factors, some of which are a mystery to us, but a group of researchers thinks they now have a closer clue for these isolated cases.

Researchers have discovered a few months ago that there is a common element among the several patients who do not seem to grow old, known as Super-Agers. There is a physical difference in the brains of these, of which the outer layer shows a higher density than that which is normally found in brains of people of the same age group.

Now, they decided to analyze if there is a social component that influences the lucidity that characterizes these people, and after analyzing 31 Super-Agers over 80 years, and 19 people of the same age with a cognitive capacity within the average for the age, they concluded that most Super-Agers were able to have better-quality, more satisfying relationships than people who age at a common rate.

The researchers conclusion was that the fact that they maintain relationships of social interaction with stronger and closer ties is a major contributor to the decline in cognitive impairment. It was possible to arrive at this conclusion, due to the elaboration, by all those involved in the study, of standard questionnaires, created in order to analyze their levels of joy and personal satisfaction.

Therefore, in addition to the physical component that had already been disclosed to us in the previous study, we verified that Super-Agers present a larger and younger brain, especially in the zone of the outer cortex, which is an area where gray matter is abundant and quite rich in neurons, we know that this is not due merely to the fact that they were born with unique brains, but because of a combination of factors that seem to delay aging and loss of cognitive ability.

Over the course of the study’s 18 months, scientists have looked at the brains of all participants through recurrent MRIs, and have concluded that those with common aging exhibit brain atrophy, twice as fast as Super-Agers.

All this information is very important and valuable, not only for the brain health of older people, but also for the brain health of people of much younger age who may benefit from improvements by stimulating the brain.

There are practices such as regular exercise, maintaining close ties with family and friends, quitting or not even starting, and looking for challenges to the intellect or learning new things that are extremely important for a healthy brain and a high cognitive ability

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