Brains that are able to maintain healthy nerve connections keep older adults more mentally agile for longer, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh discovered that those with more "robust brain wiring" were able to process information quickly long into old age. This also made subjects generally smarter.
This is because strong wiring between distant parts of the brain makes for better mental performance.
The deterioration of this wiring has a negative effect and can lead to the cognitive decline experienced by many in old age.
This findings also indicate that intelligence is not found in a single part of the brain.
Professor James Goodwin, head of research at Age UK, said: "This research is very exciting as it could have a real impact on tackling mental decline in later life, including dementia."
It is hoped that the study will help researchers understand why mental faculty declines with age in some patients.
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