Psychology

Despite Their Old Age, "Super-Agers" Have Young Memories

News: The Curiosity Podcast is here! Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud and RSS.

As your age begins to climb, your memory starts to decline. At least, this is the typical scenario. But a group of people known as "super-agers" may be proof that old age doesn't always come hand-in-hand with a bad memory. Super-agers are elderly people who have brains and memories that resemble that of people who are decades younger. How is this possible?

Related: Why Aging Is Easier On Some People Than On Others

Advertisement

The Memory Of Youth

Researchers at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital performed a study to get to the bottom of the super-agers' superpower. What they found is that super-ager brains have certain key areas with youthful characteristics. The outermost layer of brain cells known as the cortex, for example, among other brain regions, usually shrinks with age, but that was not the case in the brains of super-agers. The size of these regions is correlated with learning and memory. As for how these super-agers are able to retain strong memories and prevent certain areas of the brain from shrinking? That's another question, but this research takes us that much closer to treating age-related memory loss and perhaps even forms of dementia. 

Is there something you're curious about? Send us a note or email us at editors (at) curiosity.com. And follow Curiosity on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Love getting smarter? Sign up to our newsletter and get our best content in your inbox!

Watch And Learn: Our Favorite Content About Super-Agers

"Super-Agers" With Brains Of 50-Year-Olds May Hold The Key To Dementia

We have a lot to learn from (and about) super-agers.

The Elite Group Of Seniors Called "Super-Agers"

The 92-year-old in this video has the brain of a 50-year-old.

25 Ways To Improve Your Memory

Gotta keep that brain sharp.

Advertisement