Memory Myth About Elderly

Since its inception as a field of rational scientific study, medicine has accepted the degeneration of brain function in elderly people as a natural occurrence.

This deterioration was thoroughly documented with “hard” findings–as we age, our brains shrink, grow lighter, and lose millions of neurons every year. We have our full complement of neurons by age 2, and by age 30, the number starts to decline. The loss of any single brain cell is permanent, since neurons do not regenerate.

On the basis of this well-known fact, brain decline seemed to be scientifically valid; sadly but inevitably, to grow old must lead to memory loss, decreases reasoning ability, impaired intelligence, and related symptoms.

These time-honored assumptions, however, have now been shown to be wrong. Careful study of healthy elderly people has revealed that 80 percent of healthy Americans, barring psychological distress (such as loneliness, depression, or lack of outside stimulation), suffer no significant memory loss as they age.

The secret depends on habits of mind, not the circuitry in the nervous system. As long as a person stays mentally active, they will remain as intelligent as in youth and middle age.

Adapted from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine by Deepak Chopra (Bantam Books, 1990).


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

I agree. My grandmother, who is 99 now, kept her brain fit for years by doing crossword puzzles.

Christina B.
Christina B4 years ago

Crossword puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active.

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Laura Saxon
.4 years ago

There needs to be more research into this. My grandma Gargas has a bad memory and can't remember most things.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Dot A.
Dot A5 years ago

When I consider many of the people who have aged beyond 70yrs., it is apparent that so many are no longer involved with reading new material for the latest and greatest information, and also, many have few social ties to challenge their daily skills of problem solving and general ability to keep a lively dialogue. While economics play a significant role in how active some of the population are in the plus years, we can still seek stimulation in frugal ways to maintain our mental prowess and keep that spark of 'new thought' alive and well > the synapse of energy that can make us as lively at any beautiful and marvelous age!!!

Anne G.
Anne G5 years ago

Good to know, I see it in my 91 year old father who still does the NY Times crossword everyday, and reads it from end to end. Keeping the mind active is the key.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

There is a super ...............vs. suer

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

There is a suer fantastic and the best "brain" show I have ever seen on PBS called Super Brain with Rudy Tanzi. He is a neurosurgeon. If you get a chance to see it, I would highly recommend it for anyone interested on brain health.