“New research proves that while brain ageing is inevitable, brain decline is not. Research made on octogenarians who are “superagers” give exciting new evidence to how we perceive geriatric care and mental health.
“It has become standard knowledge that old people forget things. The elderly are ascribed to pity and ill-concealed contempt. Almost gratuitously, we forgive these mental lapses because “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” However, a new group of older adults are challenging these assumptions. Case in point: Donald Tenbrunsel is an 89-year old with the cognitive age of a 25-year-old. Not only is Tenbrunsel a decade older than the average male life expectancy, but his brain is also as sharp as a millennial’s. He is part of a new group of “super-agers” who assert that “typical” signs of ageing — such as being forgetful or not being able to learn new things — may not be as typical as initially believed.
“In a groundbreaking study, scientists have physiological proof on how the brains of these super-agers differ from the average elderly person. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, determined that the brains of these octogenarians deteriorated at a much slower rate compared to their peers. The study’s author, Emily Rogalski of Northwestern University says, ‘when you think about normal aging, memory performance starts to decline in our late 20s and 30s. But when you look at individual data points, there’s a lot of variability in decline in our later years. There are people who seem to avoid this decline in memory performance.’”