Nervous about turning 35? 40? Don’t be. According to a new study, your real concern should be about turning 45. That’s based on a new study that was just released which shows that we all may very well lose our mental acuity and sharpness after age 45. Basically, our brains start going downhill at this age:
In the study, Archana Singh-Manoux at University College London and her colleagues assessed the cognitive abilities of 7390 people at three points over a 10-year period. The participants were aged between 45 and 70 at the start of the study in 1997. At each of the three test points, Singh-Manoux’s team assessed each participant on their verbal and mathematical reasoning, vocabulary and verbal memory and fluency.
The team found that individuals from all age groups experienced a decline in cognitive function over the ten year period – even those aged between 45 and 49. The suggestion that the ageing brain starts to deteriorate in the mid-forties will come as a surprise to many, particularly given a recent review that concluded such decline occurs primarily over the age of 60.
The findings suggest that early signs of dementia could be identified in people in their 40s, who may be able to start preventative therapies, says Francine Grodstein at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in an accompanying editorial.
“As yet, there is no cure for dementia, and accumulating evidence indicates that effective interventions will need to be administered long before marked neurodegeneration has occurred,” she writes. New research into dementia should also strive to include participants from younger age groups, she adds.
Singh-Manoux agrees: “We now need to look at who experiences cognitive decline more than the average and how we stop the decline. Some level of prevention is definitely possible,” she said in an interview with the BBC.