Very aged seem to be getting brainier

2013-07-12T00:00:00Z Very aged seem to be getting brainierThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

NEW YORK - If you're lucky enough to live into your 90s, how well will your brain hold up? You may have an edge over people who got there ahead of you, a new study hints.

Researchers found that on tests of mental abilities, a group of 95-year-old Danes scored better than a group of Danes born 10 years earlier who had been tested at about the same age.

In a standard simple test, for example, 23 percent of them scored in the highest category, compared with 13 percent of the earlier-born group. Out of the 30 questions and tasks, members of the later-born group averaged two more correct responses than the earlier-born group. The results were released Wednesday by the journal Lancet.

Why the better mental performance? It wasn't just better education, but beyond that the researchers could only guess at things like more intellectual stimulation and better diets earlier in life.

More people are living to such old ages. The U.S. census counted 425,000 Americans age 95 and older in 2010, a 26 percent increase over the total in 2000.

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