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

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"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."


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

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