Keeping a good memory in later life

Older people who are physically fit appear to have better memory than peers who are not as active. This is one of the findings of new research presented at the Society for Neuroscience, which showed these individuals show fewer signs of aging in their brains.

According to the study, adults in the later years of life who exercise regularly outperformed those of the same age with regard to memory tests, suggesting physical activity can reduce age-related alterations in the brain.

Barbara Sahakian, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, says: "Even as the body begins to slow down as we age, the brain, when challenged by physical and mental activities, continues to grow and change."

The investigation also revealed people preserve the ability to process social cues as they age, despite cognitive decline.

Professor Lorraine Tyler recently gave the 2011 BA/BPS Lecture on The Resilient Brain, where she came to similar conclusions.

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