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Secret of ‘SuperAgers’ Unveiled: Why Some Brains Age Slower Than Others

Daniel Kim Views  

Research has shown that SuperAgers, who maintain a youthful memory despite their old age, experience a slower decline in minor brain functions than others.

Specifically, the characteristics of the white matter in the brains of SuperAgers, as analyzed using brain magnetic resonance imaging, were published in the Neuroscience Journal.

As humans age, our brains undergo structural and functional changes. This leads to a decline in cognitive abilities, with episodic memory, memory related to specific places and times, being significantly affected. Such cognitive decline can lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

However, in stark contrast, some SuperAgers have a memory and episodic capacity on par with younger individuals despite their advanced age.

Previous studies have shown that the gray matter in the brains of SuperAgers has characteristics that resist degenerative changes due to aging.

A team of Spanish researchers analyzed the brain magnetic resonance images (MRI) of 64 SuperAgers and 55 typical elderly individuals in the Vallecas Project, investigating the characteristics of the white matter in the SuperAgers brains.

The research found no significant difference in overall white matter volume, white matter lesions, or lesion severity between SuperAgers and typical elderly individuals. However, the white matter microstructure analysis showed that SuperAgers had notably higher fractional anisotropy and lower mean diffusivity in the frontal lobe region, suggesting a slower decline in brain function at the microstructural level.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that SuperAgers experience a slower decline in the function of brain white matter at the microstructural level.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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