Our Brains Fail at 27

Dunce IV

If you need an antidote for happiness, here it comes. Brace yourself.

A new study from the University of Virginia found that our mental powers peak at age 22.

AND THEN BEGIN DECLINING AT AGE 27. Which is now to be considered the onset of old age.

Twenty-seven?! What happened to “Thirty is the new twenty” or “Sixty is the new MILFy 18 y/o high school cheerleader”? More importantly, if we’re on the verge of discovering ways to drastically increase our life expectancy, what’s it going to matter if we start getting hit with the dumb stick before entering our third decade? Not to mention how depressing it is for women, who peak sexually after they’re six years into their mental decline!

Here’s the article after the jump, straight from the BBC:

Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia found reasoning, spatial visualisation and speed of thought all decline in our late 20s.

Therapies designed to stall or reverse the ageing process may need to start much earlier, he said.

His seven-year study of 2,000 healthy people aged 18-60 is published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

To test mental agility, the study participants had to solve puzzles, recall words and story details and spot patterns in letters and symbols

In nine out of 12 tests the average age at which the top performance was achieved was 22.

The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability.

Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60.

Professor Salthouse said his findings suggested “some aspects of age-related cognitive decline begin in healthy, educated adults when they are in their 20s and 30s.”

Rebecca Wood of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust agreed, saying: “This research suggests that the natural decline of some of our mental abilities as we age starts much earlier than some of us might expect – in our 20s and 30s.

“Understanding more about how healthy brains decline could help us understand what goes wrong in serious diseases like Alzheimer’s.

“Alzheimer’s is not a natural part of getting old; it is a physical disease that kills brain cells, affecting tens of thousands of under 65s too.

“Much more research is urgently needed if we are to offer hope to the 700,000 people in the UK who live with dementia, a currently incurable condition.”

Article available here.

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