People mentally slow down with age, says a study


New York : People tend to slow down mentally as they grow older, as ageing affects our brain, a new study has said.

Support TwoCircles

Researchers in Harvard University have found that the nerve cell packed white matter in brain that effectively serves as the brain wiring and allows different areas to communicate and share information degrades over time.

They found this affect of ageing on brain after studying the brains of 93 healthy people aged between 18 and 93.

In particular, the scientists found a reduction in connections between the front and back regions of the brain.

The scans conducted on the participants of the study showed the brain gradually loses the material it needs for one major region to communicate effectively with another.

However, the researchers said the pattern of disruption varied between individuals – as did their performance on individual tests, reported online edition of BBC News.

Understanding why we lose cognitive function as we age may help us to prolong our mental abilities later in life, the study published in Neuron said.

This research helps us to understand how and why our minds change as we get older, and why some individuals remain sharp even in their 90s while others’ mental abilities decline as they grow older, lead researcher Jessica Andrews-Hanna said.

Previous studies have focused on the effect of ageing on specific structures in the brain.

The latest work, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, was different because it examined the effect on communication between different regions.