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Aging: Changes in Intellectual Capacity

From the first large studies monitoring the mental functioning of the same group of healthy humans over many years, scientists have uncovered unexpected results.

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Healthy Aging

We all want to age well. Exercise, eating right, and avoiding stress help maintain a healthy body as we age, but what about the brain? New research indicates these same strategies also promote brain...

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Teen Brain Vulnerability Exposed

The changes taking place in the adolescent brain lead to increased vulnerability to drug abuse and may also contribute to the emergence of psychiatric disorders.

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Introduction

The experiences we have throughout life actively shape our brains. From birth through the final stages of life, brain cells and the connections between them are changing in response to the environment. With increasingly sophisticated technology, researchers are exploring changes in brain cell structure and function throughout life more closely than ever before. What they are finding could one day guide new strategies to boost brain health and promote earlier recognition of brain disease. With imaging and the use of molecular and genetic tools, researchers are identifying key differences between the healthy brains of children, teenagers, and older adults. While many questions about the developing and aging brain remain, human and animal studies have demonstrated how a person’s lifestyle influences brain health over time. Recent studies also highlight the brain’s remarkable ability to adapt to life experiences.

Discoveries

What is 'Healthy' Cognitive Aging?

Source: Dana Foundation
Even without a disease such as Alzheimer’s, the aging brain does show signs of wear. Researchers look to the molecular level to see if they can slow the ‘normal’ progress.

Searching for Answers: Healthy Brain Aging

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Doctors, researchers, and an elderly woman explain healthy brain aging. Part of a video series on pressing neuroscience health issues.

Healthy Aging

Source: Society for Neuroscience
We all want to age well. Exercise, eating right, and avoiding stress help maintain a healthy body as we age, but what about the brain? New research indicates these same strategies also promote brain health.

Youth and Aging in the News

What Makes Teens Terrible: Scientists Find Brain 'Disconnect' Causes Emotional Outbursts and Bad Behaviour

Source: Daily Mail
Date: 1 April 2014
During adolescence, the limbic system connects and communicates with the rest of the brain differently than it does during adulthood, scientists found.

Talking More Helps Babies' Brains

Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Date: 3 March 2014
New research shows that how much and how well parents talk with babies and toddlers help the youngsters' brains in ways that build language skills.

An Aging Brain is Still Pretty Smart

Source: National Geographic
Date: 28 Jan 2014
It may be slower, but it has a wealth of information to draw from.

Pregnant Mother's Fatty Diet 'May Alter Baby's Brain'

Source: BBC
Date: 24 Jan 2014
A high-fat diet during pregnancy has the potential to alter a baby's developing brain and increase its chances of obesity later in life, animal studies suggest.