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Does memory weaken with increasing age?

Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

A lot of people worry about their brain function with aging. People often say, "I don't want to live too long - I don't want to stay alive without my brain." Dementia is not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, all through life, your brain can continue to develop new pathways and connections between neurons. Your brain can even make new neurons. As a person ages, the processing in the brain does slow down, and it does get harder to make those new connections. Exercise actually helps memory. With exercise, you make higher levels of brain-derived growth factor (BDNF), which enable more connections between the nerve cells and allow new neurons to form. Of course, you have to tell the brain where to make these new connections, and that's why you need to engage in mentally stimulating activities your whole life. It's important to challenge your brain in all sorts of different ways as you get older, so that you stay mentally stimulated and connected to the world around you

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.