Study finds more clues as to why ‘SuperAgers’ have better brains

July 16, 2023

In the largest observational study to date on “SuperAgers” — people in their 80s who have brains as sharp as those 30 years younger — researchers in Spain found key differences in lifestyle that may contribute to these older adults’ razor-sharp minds. In a battery of tests, the Spanish SuperAgers scored lower than typical older adults in levels of depression and anxiety, the study found. Brain scans showed SuperAgers had greater gray matter volume than typical older adults in areas of the brain responsible for cognitive functioning, spatial memory and overall memory. Examination of donated brains of SuperAgers have found bigger, healthier cells in the entorhinal cortex – one of the first areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s. Brains of SuperAgers also had many more von Economo neurons, a rare type of brain cell thought to allow rapid communication across the brain.