MNT has a headline pregnant with possibility:
‘Super agers’ avoid brain shrinkage, retain youthful thinking abilities
The problem is, we don’t know how to prevent brain shrinkage. The “super agers” may simply have won the genetic lottery. Other factors that might help prevent brain shrinkage include 1) not smoking, 2) the Mediterranean diet, 3) keep your brain actively engaged as you age, 4) exercise, 5) avoid obesity, 6) don’t drink too much alcohol, and 7) consume cold-water fatty fish.
“Touroutoglou and colleagues conducted imaging studies on the brains of the super agers that revealed that the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus (that typically shrink with age) were similar in size to those of young adults.
“We looked at a set of brain areas known as the default mode network, which has been associated with the ability to learn and remember new information, and found that those areas, particularly the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex, were thicker in super agers than in other older adults. In some cases, there was no difference in thickness between super agers and young adults,” Touroutoglou says.
Barrett points out that the team also examined a group of regions in the brain known as the salience network – involved in identifying information that is important and that needs attention for specific situations – and found that several areas had preserved thickness among super-agers, including the anterior insula and orbitofrontal cortex.”