Senior hispanic man standing in one leg yoga balance. Healthy lifestyle at old age

   Learn How to Become a Super Ager and Enjoy a Fulfilling Life ,Would you like to live a very long life? Probably only if you can stay mentally clear the whole way through. And that might be possible. Scientists are studying people known as the super-old to try to unlock the secrets of the younger brain.

Super agers

Although the term “super-aged” sounds like a marketing gimmick (it’s sometimes even styled as SuperAgers), it’s simply the way researchers refer to people 80 or older who have cognitive health similar to that of people in their 20s. up to 30 years younger.

The brains of super-adults offer some clues as to how these people stay smart while so many of their age cohort suffer from various forms of cognitive decline.

A healthy entorhinal cortex

The entorhinal cortex is a key center in the brain network involved in memory, time perception and navigation. If you’ve ever had a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you don’t need to be told that these are the areas that are first damaged by the disease.

Last year, researchers from Northwestern University’s Superaging Research Program found that neurons in entorhinal cortex of the super-elderly are significantly greater than those of people with Alzheimer’s disease and greater than those of cognitively healthy people of the same age. Even more surprising, the entorhinal neurons of super-adults are larger than those of people 20 or 30 years younger.

Read more: Understanding the basis of superior memory

What are the secrets of a younger brain?

In addition to the larger size of super-adults’ neurons, they are also healthier. A previous study found that the brains of super-adults showed little evidence of neurofibrillary tangles which are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, although entorhinal cells are particularly prone to the formation of these nodules.

IN podcast with the American Psychological Association (APA), Emily Rogalski, director of Northwestern’s SuperAging Project, said that in the super-old, the anterior cingulate cortex, a part of the brain that is important for memory and attention, is thicker. In addition, the brains of super-seniors shrink more slowly with age than the brains of most people.

Of course, that doesn’t tell us why superadults have larger, more robust entorhinal neurons, thicker front teeth, and shrink-resistant brains. Researchers at the SuperAging Project and others are focusing on answering that question.

Read more: Aging is still one of biology’s greatest mysteries

Healthy Habits of Super Agers

Bigger, healthier neurons may be due to genetics. But that’s probably not all. Super adults seem to try harder. A growing body of research suggests that at least one of the keys to aging well is staying active — both mentally and physically.

Physical activity is good for the brain. And According to the CDC, you don’t have to be a gym rat to reap the benefits. Walking your dog, taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or just boogieing around the house to your favorite tunes will all give your brain the exercise boost it needs.

Read more: Important habits to keep your brain healthy

Super Agers’ Longevity Secrets

However, what the activity covers can vary from person to person. In the APA podcast, Rogalski points out that while cardiovascular exercise is great for the brain, not all super-aged people are dedicated exercisers. As she says, some say they only run when they’re being chased.

However, most are physically active in one way or another. This may mean regular exercise, such as cycling or walking, or it may simply mean continuing to work. However, Rogalski also points out that physical health isn’t necessarily necessary to be super old. Many people who have exceptionally good cognitive abilities may need a wheelchair or walker to get around.

Staying mentally engaged is also crucial. Learning something new or taking on a mental challenge are classic ways to stay mentally young. Activities such as reading books, I play chessand language learning all are associated with improved cognitive performance.

Read more: How to maintain your exercise routine into old age

How to become a Superager

For the ambitious super-age, maintaining social connections is a good idea. Evidence showed that people who remain sharp into old age have a higher density of a type of neuron called von Economo neurons, which are probably involved in processing social interactions. Just as with exercise, what counts as a social connection varies from person to person.

You you don’t have to be a social butterfly to get the benefit. Keeping in touch with your family and close friends is also good.

One thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that any activity, whether it’s doing puzzles or running laps, to help you age well, it needs to be challenging. “Our brains like to be challenged,” says Rogalski. Never got around to reading Proust? Still not satisfied with your tennis service? Now is the time. It’s not too late to work on your super age game.

Read more: Why do some people live so long?

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