Navigation Links
Well-connected brains make you smarter in older age
Date:5/23/2012

Brains that maintain healthy nerve connections as we age help keep us sharp in later life, new research funded by the charity Age UK has found.

Older people with robust brain 'wiring' that is, the nerve fibres that connect different, distant brain areas can process information quickly and that this makes them generally smarter, the study suggests.

According to the findings, joining distant parts of the brain together with better wiring improves mental performance, suggesting that intelligence is not found in a single part of the brain.

However a loss of condition of this wiring or 'white matter' the billions of nerve fibres that transmit signals around the brain can negatively affect our intelligence by altering these networks and slowing down our processing speed.

The research by the University of Edinburgh shows for the first time that the deterioration of white matter with age is likely to be a significant cause of age-related cognitive decline.

The research team used three different brain imaging techniques in compiling the results, including two that have never been used before in the study of intelligence.

These techniques measure the amount of water in brain tissue, indicate structural loss in the brain, and show how well the nerve fibres are insulated.

The researchers examined scans and results of thinking and reaction time tests from 420 people in the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936, a group of nearly 1100 people whose intelligence & general health have been tracked since they were 11

The research was part of the Disconnected Mind Project, a large study of the causes of people's differences in cognitive ageing, led by Professor Ian Deary.

Study author Doctor Lars Penke said "Our results suggest a first plausible way how brain structure differences lead to higher intelligence. The results are exciting for our understanding of human intelligence differences at all ages."

"They also suggest a clear target for seeking treatment for mental difficulties, be they pathological or age-related. That the brain's nerve connections tend to stay the same throughout the brain means we can now look at factors that affect the overall condition of the brain, like its bloody supply."

Professor Deary said that uncovering the secrets of good thinking skills in old age is a high priority. "The research team is now looking at what keeps the brain's connections healthy. We value our thinking skills, and research should address how we might retain them or slow their decline with age."

Doctor Mark Bastin, who co-authored the study, said "These findings are exciting as they show how quantitative brain imaging can provide novel insights into the links between brain structure and cognitive ability. This is a key research area given the importance of identifying strategies for retaining good mental ability into older age."

Professor James Goodwin, Head of Research at Age UK, said: "This research is very exciting as it could have a real impact on tackling mental decline in later life, including dementia. With new understanding on how the brain functions we can work out why mental faculties decline with age in some people and not others and look at what can be done to improve our minds' chances of ageing better."


'/>"/>
Contact: David Scott
v1dscot2@staffmail.ed.ac.uk
44-131-651-4266
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pro Athletes Brains React at Olympic Speed
2. iPhone Memory Aid for Scatterbrains, Aging Baby Boomers and Busy, Forgetful People
3. MessageSolution First in the Market to Offer All-in-One, Integrated Cloud-Based Archiving for Email, File Systems and SharePoint at Novell BrainShare 2010
4. Scientists Tweak Subjects Brains to Alter Their Moral Choices
5. SharpBrains Launches First Brain Fitness Innovation Awards to Recognize Neuroplasticity Pioneers
6. Morphine May Protect Brains of People With HIV
7. SKyPRO Releases Public Beta of GWTalk at BrainShare
8. Blood flows differently through the brains of schizophrenic patients
9. Adolescent brains biologically wired to engage in risky behavior, study finds
10. Gay mens bilateral brains better at remembering faces: York U study
11. Tool manipulation is represented similarly in the brains of the blind and the sighted
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... , ... January 20, 2017 , ... Source Vitál Apothecary, ... 100 percent pure essential oils, announced the company had a successful visit to the ... annual ECRM event gives companies that work in the nutritional, sports and health industries ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... ATP Science, ... everyday lives, recently attended the January ECRM Trade Show in Hilton Head, SC, ... for its large range of supplements that keep the body functioning at its ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... ... sugar-free alternative VW+ 002. The drinks have been produced in collaboration with Zlatan ... perform during your workout. , After a successful launch in Sweden last year, ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... , ... “I Forgive You”: a fine examination of how God handles sin, including how ... published author, Stephen Miller, who, for over ten long years has been waiting to release ... Trinidad and Tobago, he has been serving the Lord for over twenty years, and he ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse”: a moving and colorful collection of prayers that reminds ... published author, Gene Gaapf, a retired truck driver, and a long-time writer, whose published ... high school and have many different titles,” Gaapf mentions about his different works. “I ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017  Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ABAX ... instruments and consumables for the medical and veterinary markets ... financial results for the third quarter fiscal year 2017, ... 4:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 26, 2017.  The ... fiscal year 2017 after the market closes on Thursday, ...
(Date:1/19/2017)...   Science Exchange , the leading marketplace ... the first five replication studies from the ... in eLife today. Despite intense scrutiny around reproducibility ... evaluation of reproducibility rates that may identify specific ... assessments of reproducibility, the results of this project ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , January 18, 2017 , , Marks E-QURE ... distribution agreement, following similar agreements in ... Wound care is $2 5 ... E-QURE Corp. (OTCQB: EQUR), a leader in medical devices for the treatment ... - Médica Equipos Médicos S.A.S. (TeckMedica) in Colombia for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: