Much of the news around the science of life-extension seems futuristic and sensational enough to be taken with a pinch of salt – overblown talk of living for 1,000 years, or cybernetic immortality. But when Sue Armstrong, an Edinburgh-based science author with decades of experience, says that there are drugs already on trial that could slow the process of ageing, it’s worth paying attention. When she talks of increasing the healthspan, rather than the lifespan, of the population, it’s clear she’s describing a serious endeavour.
To celebrate Brain Awareness Week, Age UK launched a new quiz asking "Do you think you know how your thinking skills might change as they get older? Give your brain a workout and see how your answers compare to other people's from across the UK". The quiz is based on questions included in our "What Keeps You Sharp?" survey, completed by over 3,000 people. Read more about Age UK's work supporting research into brain health: How our thinking skills change with age; then take the quiz: How well do you know your brain?
Brain Awareness Week is an international initiative to "encourage you to organize an activity in your community to advance public understanding about the brain and the promise of brain research". Other activities throughout the week included a social media campaign from @TheAgeingLab sharing brain health tips, a CPD session with teachers from Extend Exercise about links between physical activity and brain health, and an appearance by Dr Alan Gow at the Glasgow Comedy Festival!
Can taking up a new activity help our thinking skills as we age?
That’s a key question for researchers interested in cognitive ageing, the field that explores how thinking skills change over the life course, and what factors might be associated with those changes.
The Ageing Lab at Heriot-Watt University’s Department of Psychology have made it their mission to find out how new activities could affect our thinking skills as we age.
We are living longer and, for many of us, changes in the way we think, process information and remember things, are becoming a major concern as we get older. People who retain their thinking skills are likely to stay healthier for longer, so identifying the lifestyle choices that benefit brain health has never been more important.
New Year...new activity?
Can taking up a new activity help improve our thinking skills as we age?
If you’re aged 65 or over and would like to help us find out, please get in touch.
If you know anyone who might be interested in getting involved in our research, you can also download and share a poster and flyer.