Whereas there is not any check you may take at house to definitively say how “previous” or “younger” your mind is, we will consider a younger and wholesome mind as being at peak operate. And, most frequently, peak mind operate is related to a sharp reminiscence. As we become old, it may be troublesome to recollect names, faces, occasions, one thing we simply learn, or what we ate.
In youthful brains, the method referred to as neural differentiation is environment friendly and strong. On this course of, particular mind cells are tasked to recollect sure forms of info, similar to faces. As we age, that course of deteriorates, so the cells lose their specificity and don’t operate as nicely. As a substitute of simply specializing in faces, they attempt to bear in mind different forms of info as nicely. For a SuperAger, neural differentiation is akin to that of a 25-year-old. That is a part of the explanation why a SuperAger has the reminiscence efficiency of a 25-year-old.
So what else are the secrets and techniques of those SuperAgers with strong reminiscence—and all these with mind ages youthful than their chronological age? A examine revealed in 2021 uncovered some stunning solutions. Over 18 months, the examine adopted 330 individuals, known as SuperAgers, who had been 100 years or older; the researchers discovered no decline in most areas of reminiscence or cognitive skills2.
Whereas a yr and a half won’t sound like a very long time, as soon as an individual reaches the century mark, two years for them is like 25 years for a 75-year-old when it comes to mind well being. For instance, the danger for creating dementia3 will increase by 60% each two years after the age of 100, whereas it takes 25 years for a 75-year-old’s danger of dementia to extend by the identical quantity. In different phrases, 25 years of danger is compressed into two years after the age of 100.