Whether you’ve copped a few head knocks in your time or maybe you notice yourself losing your train of thought a bit too often, it’s natural to think your brain might not be ageing quite as well as you’d like.
But according to a new study, there’s a simple trick to good brain health: during brain scans, researchers found that people who consider themselves younger have more grey matter in all the right places of their brain.
Grey matter is responsible for cleaning out excess chemicals and moving glucose.
The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience, analysed the effect of subjective age. Sixty-eight volunteers aged between 59 and 84-years old were asked how old they were and how old they felt. Throughout the study, brain scans were compared based on their responses.
“People who feel younger have the structural characteristics of a younger brain,” says Professor Jeanyung Chey.
“If somebody feels older than their age, it could be a sign for them to evaluate their lifestyle, habits, and activities that could contribute to brain ageing and take measures to better care for their brain health.”
According to Chey, other factors such as “ personality, subjective health, depressive symptoms, or cognitive functions,” were taken into consideration.
However, it’s important to note that participants who felt older than their age suggests may do so because of biological or lifestyle factors.