Wednesday Wisdom. The Secrets of “SuperAgers” who’s brains are as sharp as people 20 to 30 years younger

The secret? Socialize more by meeting friends and staying active in the community, and challenge yourself every day by reading, taking up new hobbies, and always staying curious.

Who is a SuperAger?

To be a SuperAger, a person must be over 80 and undergo extensive cognitive testing and have scans of their brain taken annually. They’re accepted only if their memory is as good as or better than those of cognitively normal people in their 50s and 60s.

Studies have found that SuperAger brains are different in a number of ways.  For one, the cortex – responsible for thinking, decision-making and memory remains much thicker and shrinks more slowly than those of people in their 50s and 60s.

Postmortem studies of SuperAger brains have also found bigger, healthier cells in the entorhinal cortex that have direct connections to another key memory center: the hippocampus.

Compared with the brains of their cognitively healthy peers, SuperAger brains also have fewer tau tangles – a sign of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

85-year old SuperAger Carol Siegler

Carol Siegler who is 85 is a cognitive “SuperAger,” possessing a brain as sharp as someone 20 to 30 years younger! She is part of an elite group enrolled in the Northwestern SuperAging Research Program, which has been studying seniors with superior memories for 14 years.

Carol Siegler is an example of a healthy SuperAger who is sharp as ever. Learning has always come easy for Carol, even at a young age she taught herself to spell and play piano. She graduated from high school at 16 and immediately went to college. She got her pilot’s license at age 23. And at 82, Carol won the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament for her age group.

She continues to volunteer and work out regularly.

How do SuperAgers stay sharp?

SuperAgers are eager to be in environments good for the brain, challenging themselves often by reading or learning. They are also very social, often volunteering in their communities, just like Carol.

What we can learn from SuperAgers

“Although we can’t all qualify to be SuperAgers, we can all take a cue from them and keep our brains healthy and engaged by staying social and challenging ourselves every day.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN

Holidays – the perfect time to reconnect

Time and time again research has shown that senior citizens who live a healthy productive life into old age have a common trait – they socialize – a lot! They are active in their community, have a circle of friends they meet often, and spend time with family members in a multi-generational age group.

I just reconnected with Terri who was a coworker of mine. We hadn’t seen each other in over 15 years! We grabbed coffee recently and caught up and chatted for 5 hours! It’s as if time hadn’t passed at all. It felt great to reconnect 😀.

Meeting Terri after 15 years!

This holiday season hangout with friends, meet your coworkers for coffee, have lunch with your Auntys or cousins, be with people whose company you enjoy ❤️.

Be a SuperAger!

Source: How SuperAgers Stay Sharp by Sanjay Gupta of CNN

6 thoughts on “Wednesday Wisdom. The Secrets of “SuperAgers” who’s brains are as sharp as people 20 to 30 years younger”

  1. An excellent post Dolly, Forwarded to all concerned to get inspired and practice seriously, young and old in their lives more so the super-seniors like me!!!!!!!!!

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