Skip to main content

People Who Feel Younger Than Their Age Show Less Signs of Brain Aging

A new study has found that elderly people who do not feel their age show fewer signs of brain aging.

Using MRI scans, researchers found that those feelings — known as subjective age — translate into fewer signs of brain aging compared to people who feel their age or feel older than their age.

Published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, the study is the first to find a link between subjective age and brain aging. The results suggest that elderly people who feel older than their age should consider caring for their brain health, researchers noted.

While we tend to think of aging as a fixed process, it affects everyone differently. How old we actually feel — our subjective age — also varies among people, researchers note.

But is subjective age just a feeling or attitude, or does it reflect how our bodies are actually aging? This question intrigued Dr. Jeanyung Chey of Seoul National University in Korea.

“Why do some people feel younger or older than their real age?” she said. “Some possibilities include depressive states, personality differences or physical health. However, no one had investigated brain aging processes as a possible reason for differences in subjective age.”

People frequently experience some cognitive impairment as they age. The brain shows a variety of age-related changes that are reflective of declining neural health, including reductions in gray matter volumes. Recently developed techniques can help researchers to identify brain features associated with aging to provide an estimated brain age.

Chey and her colleagues applied these techniques to investigate the link between subjective age and brain aging.

They performed MRI brain scans in 68 healthy people whose ages ranged from 59-84 years and looked at gray matter volumes in various brain regions.

The participants also completed a survey, which included questions on whether they felt older or younger than their age and questions assessing their cognitive abilities and perceptions of their overall health.

People who felt younger than their age were more likely to score higher on a memory test, considered their health to be better, and were less likely to report depressive symptoms, the study discovered.

Those who felt younger than their age also showed increased gray matter volume in key brain regions. The researchers used the MRI data to calculate estimated brain ages for the participants.

“We found that people who feel younger have the structural characteristics of a younger brain,” said Chey. “Importantly, this difference remains robust even when other possible factors, including personality, subjective health, depressive symptoms, or cognitive functions, are accounted for.”

The researchers hypothesize that those who feel older may be able to sense the aging process in their brain, as their loss of gray matter may make cognitive tasks more challenging.

However, the researchers said they do not know for sure if these brain characteristics are directly responsible for subjective age and will need to carry out long-term studies to understand this link further.

One intriguing possibility is that those who feel younger are more likely to lead a more physically and mentally active life, which could cause improvements in brain health, the researchers postulated. However, for those who feel older, the opposite could be true.

“If somebody feels older than their age, it could be sign for them to evaluate their lifestyle, habits and activities that could contribute to brain aging and take measures to better care for their brain health,” said Chey.

Source: Frontiers 



from Psych Central News https://ift.tt/2KT97Pg
via IFTTT

Become a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; https://www.patreon.com/carlislewellness and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hair Pulling, Nail Biting, Skin Peeling and Biting

All my life I’ve bitten my nails. It’s caused me a lot of trouble, especially with my bipolar mother who has always thought screaming and shouting at me (and often a smack when I was younger) would make me stop.At around 7 I also started biting and peeling the skin on my fingers which has caused a lot of social and health issues for me from being to ashamed to join in with prayers at school, to getting my fingers getting a fungal infection causing long lasting damage to my fingers.Soon after I started to pull out the tiny hairs on my legs during school assembles and by 12 I began to pull my eyebrow hair out.How can I stop doing this to myself? I don’t even realise I’m doing it half the time (I started biting the skin around my fingers just writing this and caused it to bleed a little). I’m afraid to bring this up with my parents because of how they have reacted in the past and I’m far too embarrassed to ask anyone I would typically trust. It has severally impacted how I interact with …

Painful Memories Evoke More Intense Emotions in Those With Depression

People with major depressive disorder (MDD) experience more intense negative emotions while recalling painful memories compared to non-depressed people, according to a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.And although those with MDD were able to turn down their negative emotions about as well as non-depressed people, they used different brain circuits to do so.The new findings pinpoint brain differences in MDD associated with the processing of autobiographical memories — one’s memories of personal events and knowledge of one’s life — that help us develop our sense of self and guide our interactions with the world around us.“This study provides new insights into the changes in brain function that are present in major depression,” said journal editor Cameron Carter, M.D. “It shows differences in how memory systems are engaged during emotion processing in depression and how people with the disorder must regulate these systems i…

People with depression have stronger emotional responses to negative memories

People with major depressive disorder (MDD) feel more negative emotion when remembering painful experiences than people without the disorder, according to a new study. The study reports that people with MDD were able to control the negative emotions about as well as people unaffected by MDD, but used somewhat different brain circuits to do so.

from Top Health News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/2D4icA6
via IFTTTBecome a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; https://www.patreon.com/carlislewellness and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.