HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Brains of elderly can compensate to remain sharp, study indicates

DURHAM, N.C. -- Elderly adults who perform as well as younger adults on certain cognitive tests appear to enlist the otherwise underused left half of the prefrontal cortex of their brain in order to maintain performance, Duke University neuroscientists have found. In contrast, elderly people who are not "high performers" on the tests resemble younger adults in showing a preferred usage of the right side of the prefrontal cortex.

The researchers said that, although their finding is basic, it raises the potential of using either training or drugs to enhance cognitive function in the elderly by increasing "recruitment" of the left prefrontal cortex.

The evidence for compensatory brain activity in the high-performing elderly was reported in the November 1, 2002, issue of NeuroImage, by a research team led by Roberto Cabeza of Duke's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. Other co-authors are Nicole Anderson, Jill Locantore and Anthony McIntosh of the University of Toronto.

In their study, Cabeza and his colleagues sought to better understand a phenomenon seen in previous studies, in which older people tend to show a reduced "hemispheric asymmetry" in activity of the two sides of the prefrontal cortex with aging. The prefrontal cortex, the brain region just behind the forehead, is where higher-level cognitive processing takes place.

Past research has shown that in young people certain cognitive tasks are carried out by the right frontal cortex, but older people tend to lose that asymmetry of processing. They tend to show more bilateral activity of the two brain hemispheres during such tasks.

Neuroscientists have proposed two divergent theories to explain this change with age. According to the "dedifferentiation" theory, age-related reduction in asymmetry occurs because older adults become less able to recruit specialized neural mechanisms. In contrast, the "compensation" theory holds that the asymmetry reduction occurs largely because the elderly
'"/>

Contact: Dennis Meredith
dennis.meredith@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University
7-Nov-2002


Page: 1 2 3

Related medicine news :

1. Brains of people with autism recall letters of the alphabet in brain areas dealing with shapes
2. Rutgers researcher: Brains in dyslexic children can be rewired to improve reading skills
3. Brains of those in certain professions shown to have more synapses
4. From Cow Brains To Surgical Scrubs: Selected Students Will Get A Close-Up Look At Neurosurgery At Brainworks
5. Carnegie Mellon, Pitt Team Show That Adult Brains Compensate For Damage To Language Systems After Stroke Occurs
6. Nonintrusive Imaging Technique Useful For Identifying Language Regions In Kids Brains
7. Not enough evidence that multivitamins prevent infections in the elderly
8. Drug therapy may be comparable to invasive cardiac procedures for elderly patients with heart attack
9. Use of potentially inappropriate medications among elderly common in some European countries
10. Neurobehavioral function during coma, stroke rehabilitation effective for elderly
11. Flu vaccination impact on elderly deaths may be over-estimated

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Brains elderly can compensate remain sharp study indicates

(Date:4/17/2014)... research team led by Cesar A. Arias, M.D., Ph.D., ... Houston (UTHealth) has identified a new superbug that caused ... appeared in the April 17 issue of The ... superbug is part of a class of highly-resistant bacteria ... which is a major cause of hospital and community-associated ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... improves general blood flow and alleviates muscle soreness ... at the University of Illinois at Chicago. , ... in the Archives of Physical Medicine and ... function in people who had not exercised, suggesting ... their level of physical activity. , Improved circulation ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... patients adrenaline after they suffer a cardiac arrest outside ... surviving long-term, according to new research conducted at St. ... have a cardiac arrest get adrenaline, which has been ... said Dr. Steve Lin, an emergency physician and trauma ... medical treatment, long-term survival rates of patients who suffer ...
(Date:4/16/2014)... Consider the marvel of the embryo. It begins as ... as they multiply to become the cells of our lungs, ... body. , Now, in a feat of reverse tissue engineering, ... coding that allows embryonic cells to proliferate and transform into ...
(Date:4/16/2014)... According to a new study, endoscopists, recommendations for ... to two small polyps are consistent with guideline recommendations ... an appropriate target for quality indicators. This is the ... guidelines for timing of repeat colonoscopy after one to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):Health News:New MRSA superbug emerges in Brazil 2Health News:Massage therapy improves circulation, eases muscle soreness 2Health News:Adrenaline does little to increase patient's survival after cardiac arrest 2Health News:Stanford scientists develop 'playbook' for reverse engineering tissue 2Health News:Stanford scientists develop 'playbook' for reverse engineering tissue 3Health News:Surveillance colonoscopy recommendations for average-risk patients with 1 to 2 small polyps consistent with guidelines 2Health News:Surveillance colonoscopy recommendations for average-risk patients with 1 to 2 small polyps consistent with guidelines 3
(Date:1/14/2014)... 14, 2014  Luminex Corporation (Nasdaq: LMNX ) today ... quarter of 2013 on Monday, February 3, 2014. A press ... close of trading. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100104/LUMINEXLOGO ) ... the operating highlights and financial results for the fourth quarter ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... HILLS, Calif. , Jan. 14, 2014 The Brandeis Medical ... Los Angeles a premier and affordable laser tattoo removal ... special. Dr. Brandeis, focus is in providing high quality cosmetic services ... all patients. " Southern California has ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... -- Acumed,s new SLIC Screw System - a jointed ... place and insert the screw accurately - offers surgeons ... repair or reconstruction as it holds the bones reduced ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140114/MN45636 ) The SLIC Screw is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:Luminex Corporation Fourth Quarter Earnings Release Scheduled for February 3, 2014 2Luminex Corporation Fourth Quarter Earnings Release Scheduled for February 3, 2014 3Beverly Hills Physician Features Tattoo Removal with the Astanza Duality Laser, Offers $99 Special 2Acumed introduces the Scapho-Lunate Inter Carpal (SLIC) Screw System 2Acumed introduces the Scapho-Lunate Inter Carpal (SLIC) Screw System 3
Cached News: