Study on Slower Brain Volume Loss in SuperAgers May Shed Light on Alzheimer’s, Other Dementias

Study on Slower Brain Volume Loss in SuperAgers May Shed Light on Alzheimer’s, Other Dementias
So-called "SuperAgers" lose brain volume more slowly than their normally aging peers, protecting them from dementia, according to a new study that proves yet again that Alzheimer’s disease — like other dementias — is not an inevitable fate in predestined individuals. The study, “Rates of Cortical Atrophy in Adults 80 Years and Older With Superior vs. Average Episodic Memory,” appeared in JAMASenior author Emily Rogalski of Chicago's at Northwestern University will present her team's findings April 6 at the 2017 Cognitive Aging Summit in Bethesda, Md. Earlier research on SuperAgers — people older than 80 with an episodic memory at least as good as that of the average middle-aged adult — has shown that they have a thicker brain cortex than other people their age. But nobody knew whether this was thanks to a larger brain from the beginning, or lower rates of decline. Researchers recruited both SuperAgers and normally aging people to its study, which followed participants over time. Among the 24 SuperAgers, 75 percent were women, and 96 percent were white. Women made up 42 percent of the 12 normally aging participants. Except for better scores in episodic memory and category fluency tests — naming as many animals as one could think of — there were no differences between the two groups. But when researchers measured annual brain volume loss, it became evident that SuperAgers lost l
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