So, is cognitive decline inevitable as we age? Many have come to believe that a faulty memory, anxiety and dysphoria are just a normal part of aging, but that is not true.
New Study Proves Mental Decline is Not Inevitable 20 years ago, in a landmark article, researchers concluded that the human brain retains the potential for self-renewal throughout life. Before this, scientists believed the adult brain was hard-wired and therefore not able to produce new cells.
While most neuroscientists accepted the new findings, there has been an ongoing debate about whether this renewal ability applies to the whole brain, and whether it declines or stops altogether in seniors.
Animals Lose Ability to Generate New Brain Cells Maura Boldrini, associate professor of neurobiology at Columbia University, New York, together with her colleagues, studied the brains of 28 people aged between 14 and 79 shortly after death.
None had been diagnosed with any neurological or psychological condition. The researchers were interested in the hippocampus. As you probably know, this is a key region of the brain important for emotion, cognition and memory. They already knew from studies in rodents and non-human primates that with aging the ability to generate new cells in the hippocampus declines.
Was this also true of humans? Using various techniques, they examined the volume of cells, the number of cells in different stages of maturity, and the degree to which new blood vessels were being formed. Boldrini summed up their findings. We also found equivalent volumes of the hippocampus across ages.
It seems that indeed humans are different from mice — where [neuron production] goes down with age really fast — and this could mean that we need these neurons for our complex learning abilities and cognitive behavioral responses to emotions. There is hope for us all in our twilight years.
New neurons in older brains were less able to make connections, there was less vascularization blood vessel formationand a smaller pool of progenitor cells. These are similar to stem cells but are more limited in the types of cell they can become and in their ability to self-renew.
Boldrini believes these factors have the potential to compromise our ability to think and our ability to navigate emotional ups and downs in old age.
Her advice will probably be familiar to readers of this newsletter: To maintain brain health, you need to exercise, keep learning new things, be socially active and eat healthy foods.So, why is this important to you--assuming you don't have cancer at the moment?
Because cancer and old age are not dissimilar. They both involve the relentless diminishing of cellular DNA, cellular integrity, and ultimately cellular function. Ageing, and particularly old age, is associated with the stereotype of decreased mental performance and this decline is often viewed as inevitable (Park, ).
The current essay will examine the inevitability of mental decline with ageing. So, is cognitive decline inevitable as we age? Many have come to believe that a faulty memory, anxiety and dysphoria are just a normal part of aging, but that is not true.
Have you ever known someone in their 90 who was still witty, and “sharp as a tack” with few if any significant signs of memory loss or dementia? Learning Objectives. This is an intermediate level course.
After taking this course, mental health professionals will be able to: List and discuss four medical causes of mental disorders. Mental function with age is largely determined by mental lifestyle, the impact of chronic disease and flexibility of the mind.
Mental decline after young adulthood appeared inevitable. The brain's abilities to reason, comprehend and remember may start to worsen as early as age 45, a new study from England suggests. Researchers gave tests of thinking skills to about 5, men and.