New research has found that ageing in the brain could be slowed simply by feeling young.
The study, recently published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, found that those people who felt younger than they actually were had greater volumes of grey matter in their brains. This meant that their hearing, memories, decision making, self-control as well as overall health was better.
“We found that people who feel younger have the structural characteristics of a younger brain,” said study author Dr Jeanyung Chey from Seoul National University.
The researchers analysed the brains of 68 participants between the ages of 59 and 84, asking them how old they felt in comparison to their real age. The group was also tested on memory and cognitive function as well as questioned on their personality traits and perception of overall health.
The researchers are unclear as to why simply thinking of yourself as younger has such a dramatic influence on the brain but have suggested that people who feel older may feel less motivated to lead healthy lifestyles, causing the brain to deteriorate.
As Dr Chey said, “if somebody feels older than their age, it could be a sign for them to evaluate their lifestyle, habits and activities that could contribute to brain ageing and take measures to better care for their brain health.”
Your brain is old at 25
These results come after research released in February of last year which suggested that the brain becomes ‘old’ at just 25.
The study, from Lancaster University, found that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) changes its speed of movement in anyone older than their mid-twenties.
Changes to CSF movement affects breathing and heart rates and have previously been linked to the development of MS and high blood pressure. It is not yet know the impact of these changes on the development of other brain disorders such as dementia.
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