Changes in Brain Anatomy

It is now well established that there are observable changes in brain anatomy associated with aging. Indeed it is common for radiologists to report that a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain shows "atrophy consistent with normal aging." Neuroanatomical studies indicate that by age 80, 15 percent of one's brain weight is lost overall, and there is an average 20 percent loss in the weight of temporal lobes, which are associated with memory functioning (Suhr, 2002). These data suggest that some changes in neurobehavioral functioning are likely in aging. However, the majority of elderly persons continue to manage their affairs competently.

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