Secular Changes in Late-life Cognition and Well-being: Towards a Long Bright Future with a Short Brisk Ending?

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  • Europe

31st March 2015, Humboldt University Berlin

Denis Gerstorf, Gizem Hülür, Johanna Drewelies, Peter Eibich, Sandra Duezel, Ilja Demuth, Paolo Ghisletta, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen, Gert G. Wagner, Ulman Lindenberger

This paper from researchers at Humboldt University and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development looks at how socio-cultural contexts have impacted on the experience of ageing.

Looking at two stages of the Berlin Aging Study, the first carried out between 1990 and 1993 and the second between 2013 and 2014, the team made some large-scale assessments of how old-age vitality has changed and put forward some reasons behind changes.

The team found that cognitive tests showed 75-year-olds today were an average of 19.6 years “younger” relative to 75-year-olds in the early 1990s. That is, people tested at 75 today performed as well as a 55-year-old would have two decades ago. Read more here.