This is an article from BBC. My take is that if it is true it is pretty scary. I feel one must keep one’s mind active to allow it to stay healthy. Like any other part of the body, it will atrophy if it is allowed to rust. The rest as they say is not in our hands 🙂


Mental powers start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, marking the start of old age, US research suggests.

Professor Timothy Salthouse of Virginia University found reasoning, speed of thought and spatial visualisation 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.

The natural decline of some of our mental abilities as we age starts much earlier than some of us might expect

Rebecca Wood of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust

The same tests are already used by doctors to spot signs of dementia.

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.”

2 Thoughts on “‘Brain decline’ begins at age 27

  1. Harsha Kamath on November 22, 2014 at 11:18 am said:

    Disagree to the fullest! . People in the west have lots of free time to do such kind of research 🙂 . Additionally the sample is too small to judge anything( compared to world population).
    Narendra Modi is more alert smart and active than a 20 something guy. According to this study his brain must have been declining since the last 37 years!!!
    I don’t think these problems occur till a later stage in life- 27 is too young to have a brain decline- at 27 a person is an adult but yet has to see and experience so much more in life – what the heck LOL

Do not leave without commenting. I love a good conversation :).

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