Research article: Cognitive Function Trajectories in Centenarians (100-102 year olds)

Hello fellow memory persons! (I have not yet learned how to spell the proper definition with mne… :stuck_out_tongue: )
Just stumbled upon this exciting new research for anyone who is getting older (that is all of us :wink: ).

The one thing I found very interesting is

After their deaths, forty-four of the participants underwent autopsies to measure the plaques, or tangles of protein, in their brains that are typical markers of Alzheimer’s disease. Although many participants had the brain plaques typical of people who develop Alzheimer’s disease, none of them showed signs of disease itself. In addition, participants with the genes linked to an elevated risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease showed no signs of [cognitive decline].

Which was derived in this article: How Exceptional 100-Year-Olds Keep Their Minds Sharp | Psychology Today
Otherwise I would not have made that out in the main article due to not understanding the values for Amyloid-beta, Neurofibrillary tangles and Neuritic plaques.

(Though the Psychology Today article is not all that truth to the story in all cases.)

One thing I am missing though, is a description of the “current cognitive activity”.

I tend to generally consider, that the “secret” to staying cognitively well through age is by continuing to use your brain (read, learn things, challenge your thoughts etc. etc.). By way of example would be Charlie Munger (97) and Warren Buffett (90).

Although, I also do know of at least one people who continued to stay active with learning etc. yet have ended up with some cognitive dysfunction. Not sure of the specifics of the neurological disorder the person has though, but something that came out of the blue.

If you are short on time, you can skip to their Discussion session which, among more, says:>

Resilience may be further explained by the build-up of cognitive reserve.15,56 This concept relates to having more neural resources available by inheritance or lifetime training, allowing higher levels of brain damage to accumulate before clinical symptoms appear.15 We found that next to physical health factors, factors of cognitive reserve such as education, frequency of cognitive activity, and premorbid IQ were associated with cognitive performance.

Otherwise, I encourage you to read or skim through the report. It ain’t a lot of text, most of it is graphs and tables.


Hello fellow mnemonians!

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Mnemonians, thank you!

I hope this comment is not far off topic.

It so happens I have recently been reading up on centenarians athletes.

For a ling time, I have been in awe of elderly athletes, but when I learned about these folk, I nearly flipped my lid—in a good way of course, these folks are amazing.

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I’d say it falls well within the topic :slight_smile:

The study also talks about being physically active could be helpful in continuous cognitive function - although it doesn’t specify much on it. The research seemed to only account for common daily activities, without much thought on other physical activities.

At any rate, much research (without having any specifics) seem to suggest physical exercise promotes a healthy cognitive function (regardless of age).

Which, personally, I do not need research to tell me. Considering how physical exercises does require a large portion of cognitive abilities. (Maybe leisure walking wouldn’t be too beneficial, though adding walking sticks or a specific walking pattern such as swinging with the arms and / or walking faster could likely be considered requiring some thought process).

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