Senior Memories

THE STUDY Researchers at the University of Michigan studying 11,000 elderly Americans found that people over 70 are sharper than ever. Over a nine-year period, the investigators report, the rate of significant cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, declined from 12.2% of the sample population to 8.7%.

WHAT THIS MEANS Some memory loss is inevitable with age, but the improvements shown in the study suggest that at least some lapses can be held off, in part by protecting the brain with mental stimulation and keeping the heart healthy, which enhances circulation and keeps neurons active.

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