Brain Size on the Rise: How Larger Brains May Lead to Improved Brain Health and Reduced Risk of Age-Related Dementia

Researchers Discover Human Brains Are Increasing in Size

Researchers at the University of California Davis Health have discovered that human brains have been growing larger over time, potentially leading to improved brain health as people age. The study, published in JAMA Neurology, analyzed MRI data from 3,226 subjects born between the 1930s and 1970s. The results showed that babies born in the 1970s had larger brain surface area and volume compared to those born in the 1930s.

In addition to the increase in brain size, the researchers also observed growth in areas of the brain related to memory and learning. While having a larger brain may not necessarily mean increased intelligence, researchers believe that it could provide benefits for brain health.

A separate study published in 2016 in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests 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 decrease could be attributed to improved brain development and health, potentially providing a buffer against age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The findings suggest that having a bigger brain may offer protection against age-related brain diseases. This could be due to larger brain reserve and improved brain health, allowing for better cognitive function as individuals grow older. Further research is needed to fully understand the implications of larger brains on brain health and cognitive function.

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