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Decline is not inevitable

As we get older, it’s common to become a little forgetful and slower at working things out, but a more serious decline in cognitive function is not automatically a part of getting older. Science is now looking to ‘healthy agers’ to find out more about the formula for wellness in later years.  

The upsides of ageing

Ageing has its perks. As we age our vocabulary improves, we hold a more positive outlook and we can better deal with challenging situations. Watch this interview with Professor Ian Robertson to find out more.

Just like the rest of your body, your brain changes with age. Physically some parts get a bit smaller and functionally perhaps some parts slow down a little and you might become more forgetful and perhaps less quick at working out that restaurant bill or solving a complex problem.

But a serious decline in brain health is not always part and parcel of growing old. And just as everyone’s outer looks and inner health change at different rates with age, how your cognitive function changes with age is also quite an individual thing.

Of course genetics can play a role – some people have a genetic makeup that protects them from cognitive decline or it makes them more susceptible to it. But genes aren’t everything. In fact the environment your brain lives in – what you eat, how you exercise physically, your social life, your attitude to life and the intellectual enrichment you are exposed to –  can have an effect on brain health as you age.

And there are plenty of role models who have lived into their 80s, 90s and beyond while thinking sharply, creating and living life to the full.

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