Do “Super Agers” hold key to dementia treatment?

I was fascinated to read news about the current research on “super agers,” elderly people in their 80s and 90s who have maintained a sharp mind and exceptional memory for their advanced age. After analyzing brain scans from these unique individuals, researchers found less brain plaque and more brain mass in critical areas related to memory and attention. By studying the minds of those who have beaten the odds when it comes to their mental status, scientists hope to be able to protect others from developing dementia.

Super agers are more energetic and maintain positive attitudes.

Super agers are more energetic and maintain positive attitudes.

While very few people meet the stringent requirements to be in this select group, the super agers seem to be from all walks of life. However, they do have a couple of things in common: they have more physical energy and they have a more positive attitude than others their age.

It’s heartwarming to read about these seniors who are still finding so much joy in life and are active in their communities. While modern medicine has allowed us to extend our life spans to a certain extent, the growing rate of Alzheimer’s makes that definitely a mixed blessing. But if more of us could end up like these super agers, I think we wouldn’t dread the thought of old age so much.

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