Monday, January 05, 2009

Cognitive High-Functioning Elderly and the Super-Aging Project

Some 80 year olds have super-sharp cognition, comparable to normally functioning 50 year olds. These high-functioning elderly people are naturally sparking the interest of neuroscience researchers who would like to determine the difference in their brains, compared to those with age-normal functioning. They are calling these high-functioning seniors ‘super-aged’ and have begun a long-term study called the SuperAging Project to determine the makeup of their cognitive ability. The study began two years ago.

The following article is an enlightening look at the SuperAging Project and its findings. So far, they have found more beta-amyloid plaques in super-aged seniors than normal-aging seniors, and a lowered amount of neurofibrillary tangles. In some cases, they have found no evidence of neurofibrillary tau-protein tangles at all in the super-aged. The study is not done, but the findings have been published in a peer-review journal.

This article talks about the study in-depth and discusses statistics and detailed information about the significance of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the super-aged.

SN: Brains of High-Functioning Elderly Have More Plaques, Fewer Tangles

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