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Why memory loss isn’t inevitable as we age

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Memory loss and forgetfulness aren’t an inevitable consequence of getting older-your brain’s ‘white matter’, or neural pathways, continues to change and develop even into old age.

Scientists thought that white matter changes slowed or even stopped as we get older, but a new study has discovered the process continues all our lives.

This makes it even more important for older people to engage in mental activities that ‘stretch the brain’, say researchers from Zucker Hillside Hospital, who made the discovery.

They made their discovery after they set a series of mental tests for a group of 296 healthy volunteers aged from eight to 68 to assess their mental speed, attention, memory and learning capabilities, while monitoring their brains at the same time.

(Source: Biological Psychiatry, 2014; 75: 248)

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