Researchers studying brain function in people over 80 have have discovered a subset that they call "SuperAgers", a group born with brains that appear to be immune from the normal declines in cognitive function and memory.
One of the traits these SuperAgers have include exhibiting remarkable thickness in the anterior
cingulate cortex, which is integral to attention and focus. CNN reports:
In the study published Thursday, Rogalski and colleagues found something remarkable in the brain scans of so-called "SuperAgers" (defined as people over 80 with sharp memory). The area of the brain housing the most dense concentration of cells (the outer layer of the brain, called the cortex) was quite thick in "Super Agers"—much thicker than you might see in a typical group of 80-year-olds.
The cortex is important for, among other functions, memory.
Among the 12 "SuperAgers," scanned using MRI, cortical thickness was not significantly different than a control group of 14 people in their 50s and 60s.
Researchers have no idea how these SuperAgers got their superior brains, but plan to continue studying their subjects over the long-term to help others with degenerative cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's. Makes you wonder why everyone is spending all that money on Botox when they should really be investing in their brains.