Feeling young could mean your brain is younger
A study in South Korea is the first to find a link between subjective age and brain aging
Feeling younger than you are actually may indicate that your brain is aging more slowly, and a new study in South Korea finds.
Subjective age (SA) refers to how individuals experience themselves as younger or older than their actual age. The recent South Korean study finds that such feelings may reflect brain aging, Medical Xpress reports.
With the help of MRI brain scans, researchers found that older people who feel younger than their age show fewer signs of brain aging compared to those who feel their age or older than their age.The results suggest that older people who feel older than their age should consider caring for their brain health.
A link between subjective age and brain aging
This study is the first to find a link between subjective age and brain aging. Results were published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience .
Why do some people feel younger or older than their real age? ", Asks Dr. Jeanyung Chey of Seoul National University in Korea. However, no one has investigated brain aging processes as a possible cause for differences in subjective age. "
Chey and her colleagues applied recently developed techniques to investigate the link between subjective age and brain aging. 68 healthy older adults aged 59-84 years underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. T1-weighted brain images of open-access datasets were used to construct a model for age prediction.
The participants also completed a survey, which included questions about whether they felt older or younger than their age and questions assessing their cognitive abilities and perceptions of their overall health.
The study's results
People who felt younger than their age were more likely to score higher on a memory test, considering their health to be better and were less likely to report depressive symptoms. The most striking bridge, the researchers found that people who feel younger have the structural characteristics of a younger brain.
But at present, researchers do not know for sure if these brain features are directly responsible for subjective age and will need to carry out long-term studies to understand this link further. Further studies will be required to look more deeply in the matter.