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February 18, 2018

Researchers are learning about aging from people over 80 who haven’t experienced cognitive decline.



Super-aging brains. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

SuperAgers may not be the next crime-fighting sensation at the box office. But they are an elite group of octogenarians-plus who have yet to suffer from cognitive decline. Now, they’re helping Northwestern University’s Emily Rogalski and her team understand the aging brain. Rogalski says that the outer layer of the brain – or cortex – normally thins with age.

EMILY ROGALSKI (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine):

We see that the average agers are thinning at a rate that is 2½ times that of the superagers.


What’s more, one region of the superagers’ brains important for attention and memory encoding was actually thicker than in people 20 to 30 years younger. At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Rogalski said she’s currently searching for genetic clues to help explain how the super agers’ brains resist decline. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard