"I'm having a senior moment." We've all heard that one, and the countless other jokes about getting old. In our culture, it is generally accepted that older people will gradually begin to forget things or become less logical in their thinking. We take it for granted that aging minds grow a little fuzzy around the edges.

But exciting new research indicates that growing older might not necessarily have to mean growing mentally slower. New studies are providing breakthroughs in our understanding of how aging affects memory, language, and other cognitive functions. This information could provide tools for lessening or even averting some loss in brain functioning often associated with old age.

And that's good news, considering the enormous growth this country is facing in the proportion of elderly people. Figures from the U.S. census indicate that the number of people over age 65 will reach 70 million by the year...

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