Brain Size Study Suggests Potential Benefits for Brain Health in Old Age

Researchers Discover Human Brains Are Increasing in Size

A study published in JAMA Neurology has revealed that human brains have been getting bigger over the years, indicating potential benefits for brain health as people age. Led by the University of California Davis Health, researchers analyzed MRI data of individuals born between the 1930s and 1970s and found that babies born in the 1970s had larger brain surface area and volume compared to those born in the 1930s.

The study also observed that areas of the brain related to memory and learning had grown in size. While larger brains may not necessarily equate to increased intelligence, researchers believe that having a bigger brain could be beneficial for brain health. The findings suggest that having a bigger brain may offer protection against age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

In a study published in 2016 in The New England Journal of Medicine, it was found that the percentage of people newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease has decreased per decade, despite an overall increase in the number of patients as the population ages. This suggests that larger brain structures observed in recent studies could indicate improved brain development and health, potentially providing a buffer against age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

However, further research is needed to fully understand the implications of larger brains on brain health and cognitive function. Nonetheless, these findings suggest that having a bigger brain may offer some protection against age-related brain diseases and could lead to improved cognitive function as people grow older.

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