How ‘super aging’ older adults retain youthful memory abilities.

While most older adults experience a gradual decline in memorability, some researchers have described older adults – sometimes called “super agers” – with unusually resilient memories. For the current study, the MGH team enrolled adults ages 60 to 80 – 17 of whom performed as well as adults four to five decades younger on memory tests, and 23 with normal results for their age group – and 41 young adults ages 18 to 35.

“Previous research on super aging has compared people over age 85 to those who are middle aged,” says Alexandra Touroutoglou, PhD, MGH Neurology, co-senior author with Dickerson and Barrett. “Our study is exciting because we focused on people around or just after typical retirement age – mostly in their 60s and 70s – and investigated those who could remember as well as people in their 20s.

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