Healthy Brain Aging – What Can You Expect?

February 12, 2015 Brigham and Women's Hospital

Normal changes in cognition won’t affect someone’s ability to remain independent and socially active.

It’s common for people over the age of 50 to worry about a decline in their cognitive abilities. Some studies suggest that as many as 80 percent of people over the age of 50 have these types of concerns.

What’s important to understand is that normal changes in cognition, such as taking longer to retrieve information or solve a problem, won’t affect someone’s ability to remain independent and socially active. Changes in cognition are concerning when individuals become increasingly dependent on others to manage their daily living activities as they get older.

Kirk Daffner, MD, Chief, Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the J. David and Virginia Wimberly Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, explains what changes people can expect in their cognitive abilities as a normal part of aging. He also outlines steps people can take to promote and preserve brain health throughout life.

- Jamie R.

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