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Differences in memory performance in old age
Some people show up to a high age has a remarkable memory performance, while others suffer a considerable loss of memory. Now, it was investigated why these differences in memory performance occur in the progressive age and how it can be prevented.
In a study at Stanford University, was to determine which factors have an influence on how well we can remember in old age. The results of the study were published in the English journal “eLife”.
After the memory automatically?
Even in totally healthy people a discount is the end of memory is often an expected part of aging. But such a weakening memory is by no means inevitable. Some people have also in the upscale age is still a very good memory.
Differences in memory performance were investigated
“The study of these differences between individuals is crucial for the understanding of the complexity of brain aging, including the question of how resilience and durability can be promoted,” says study author Alexandra Trelle, at Stanford University, in a press release.
How did the memory retrieval processes of older people?
Based on studies, which had focused on younger people, the research group studied in the framework of the Stanford Aging and Memory Study of memory in healthy, older adults. The Team found that the memory retrieval processes in the brains of older adults can look very similar, as previously in the brains of young adults of the processes observed. In people with greater difficulties to remember, were the instructions on these processes, however, are considerably smaller.
Activity of the whole brain was measured
Through a better understanding of memory function in older adults will one day say, hopefully, earlier and more precise prior allows, when memory failures occur, and when there is an increased risk for dementia is present, report the researchers.
What was studied?
For the study of one hundred part were participants between the ages of 60 and 82 years, their brains using magnetic resonance imaging scanning while they viewed words paired with pictures of famous people and places. These Participants were then testing with words asked during a Memory to recall the associated picture. The analyses of the MRI images of the Gehrins focused not only on the extent of the activity, but also on the memory information contained in the Patterns of brain activity.
What was done the memory test?
With the memory test, the ability should be evaluated, to remember certain associations between elements of an event. This is a Form of memory, which is often influenced disproportionately by the aging process, report researchers.
Memory is a neural time travel
The research group found that the brain processes that support memory in older adults are similar to those in younger groups of the population. If people remember, there is an increase in hippocampal activity, along with the recovery of activity patterns in the cortex, were present when the event was first experienced. This means that the journey includes Remind a quasi-neural time, which includes the Repeat of Patterns that were previously established in the brain.
What has been the role of the Hippo-campus activity?
The Team was able to actually say on the basis of the information contained in Patterns of brain activity to predict whether a Person would remember a specific time or not. The researchers found that memory declined in age, on average. It was noticeable, however, regardless of age, with greater hippocampal activity, and recurrence was associated in the cortex with better memory performance. This was true not only for the during the MRI Scans carried out memory test, but also for memory tests, which were carried out on a different day of the study.
What is the goal of future research?
It is clear that the functional magnetic resonance imaging of brain activity during memory retrieval find stable differences between individuals and on the health of the brain may indicate, reports the researchers. The current study lay the Foundation for many future studies of the memory of older adults in the cohort of the Stanford Aging and Memory Study. The ultimate goal was to develop new and sensitive instruments to identify persons at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, before significant memory loss occurs. (as)
Authors and source of information
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