Saturday, January 7, 2012

Get Ready To Be A Mental Midget!

A new study shows the brain's ability to reason, recall information and use words starts declining 15 years earlier than previously thought.

Excerpts from the video transcript:

Over 45? How about kicking off the new year with the news that your brain is probably already in decline? Here’s the Today Show.

“Well, new research in our health news that shows mental function begins to decline as early as age 45. Previous studies have shown the brain’s capacity for memory, reasoning, and comprehension tapering off at the age of 60, but a new joint study from institutes in France and Britain showed a 3.6% drop in reasoning starting at age 45.”

The researchers followed thousands of participants over a 10-year period, testing them repeatedly on different cognitive abilities. And not only did declines start after 45, NPR explains it just got worse from there.

“...the decline was even faster for people in their 50s and 60s, especially men. Other mental abilities that faded included memory, and so-called verbal fluency, which measures a person's ability to quickly say words in a particular category. However, people's vocabulary didn't change.”

This research is among the first to find significant declines in middle age. But since the youngest people in the study, those in their late 40s at the beginning, showed decline, it might have gotten started even earlier.

Perhaps our friend (and Skeptical Eye contributor) Bret Alan is proof that the horrible decline can even begin in your 20s...

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