Two of three older adults experienced only a small amount of cognitive decline during a decade-long study, according to new research.
The findings challenge the perception mental deterioration is normal in seniors, the authors say. The study, done on 1,049 adults who initially had no dementia, was published Friday in the journal Age and Aging.
"This research is important," says Richard Jones, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, "because the focus for seniors can be on living independently for as long as possible and putting less of a burden on our health-care system."
The research was done at Duke University, Rush University, and the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The cognitive skills of the participants (ages 56 - 102) were tested annually.
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