As we age a third of us may contract Alzheimer’s, or dementia, and another third may have cognitive decline. The last third researchers have found that they are very healthy, and researchers are very interested in studying this group. The American Association for the Advancement of Science found that people who live well into their 90’s and above are living better now than ages ago. The way they live physically and socially has a lot more to do with their aging than genetics.
There was a study of people over the age of 90 to track how they live their lives over a 15-year study. They kept track of their physical, social lives, lifestyle habits, and had brain scans before and after their death. The study also tracked people in their 80’s and found that they had the memory of people much younger. When the participants had very close relationships had a better chance of living longer. The more social they were studies showed that they had better memory or cognitive longevity. The brain benefits with the more social relationships.
When the person has at least a couple of glasses of wine or beer they have a better chance of living longer than that of the nondrinker. The study found that the superagers over the age of 80 are found to be extroverts, non-neurotic, and have very active lifestyles.
Another study showed that when we age there is a protein called Amyloid that can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s. Superagers have this deformed protein but yet they are still able to retain their memory skills.
There are more studies going on to find out the reasons for this longevity in some and not in others.