Do you know what a “super-ager” is?
According to a new study, they’re seniors—80 and older—who maintain memory function relatable to those who are 20 to 30 years their junior!
So, somehow, they’ve managed to kick memory loss to the curb.
Like you, I’m also wondering—how do I get in on THAT?
Let’s take a look…
Two factors that decrease brain shrinkage
According to researchers, “super-agers” maintain more gray matter in their brains—especially in the area responsible for memory—thanks to specific lifestyle choices.
In a new observational study, 64 super-agers were compared to a group of 55 older adults. Each group was put through a series of memory tests.
The super-agers performed just as well as subjects up to 30 years younger, whereas the control group was in line with their age and level of education.
Plus, MRIs revealed that gray matter atrophy (shrinkage) in certain regions—like the medial temporal lobe, responsible for memory, and the motor thalamus, important for movement—was less pronounced among super-agers…
And decreased at a much slower pace, compared to the control group.
Finally, using a machine-learned algorithm (how very artificial intelligent [AI] of them) to differentiate between super-agers and “normal”-agers, guess which TWO demographic, lifestyle, or clinical factors was most important?
I would have only gotten one of these correct…
The ability to move—and maintaining mental health.
Yep, prioritizing physical and mental health helped super-agers become RESISTANT to the typical shrinkage of the aging brain.
Happiness and health
If this finding doesn’t finally convince you to GET UP and MOVE, I don’t know what will.
After all, this study absolutely confirms that physical activity is paramount for maintaining cognitive function as we age.
While there was only a tiny difference between how much each group moved at 80 and above, the importance of how much they moved decades prior—at age 40, 50, and 60—ultimately influenced brain function.
In fact, the super-agers were more active leading up to their “seniority,” which benefitted them in their golden years. And remember, staying physically fit doesn’t mean you have to be a gym rat…
Going for a walk or even taking the stairs regularly counts. (Engage in any type of movement daily. Then, keep doing it.)
And when it comes to overall happiness…
These super-agers also suffered significantly less from depression or anxiety. (I guess none of them lived in New York City. Just kidding!)
One of the best ways to improve mental health is to stay socially engaged and involved. Get out there and mingle, whether it’s a new cooking class, a book club, or meeting a friend for a walk in the park. (Because, yes, movement also boosts mood!)
To learn more ways to protect and restore memory as you age, check out my Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Plan. Click here now to learn more about this innovative, online learning tool.
“Why are ‘superagers’ resistant to age-related memory loss?” Medical News Today, 07/25/2023. (medicalnewstoday.com/articles/why-are-superagers-resistant-to-age-related-memory-decline)