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Brain Scans Reveal Why Some Older People Are Immune To Memory Loss

•, Rachel Rettner
 Elderly people with exceptional memory abilities have brains that look decades younger than their actual age, according to a new study.

The study examined the brains of people the researchers call "super-agers," who despite being age 80 or older, have memory abilities similar to people in their 50s and 60s.

Brain images taken with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed that the outer layer of the brain, known as the cortex, was about the same size in super-agers as it was in middle-age people.

This finding was remarkable because the cortex— which is important for memory and attention — almost always shrinks with age, the researchers said. In fact, the cortexes of the super-agers were much thicker than the cortexes of a normal group of elderly people in good health, the researchers said.

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