The results of a new study published by the American Psychological Association reveal that while all mental abilities decline with age, some may not be a drastic as other research has suggested. SeniorJournal.com reports that the study provides encouraging results for those concerned about mental degeneration.
According to the news source, the study led by Dr Timothy Salthouse analyzed the data from cognitive tests performed on 1,616 adults between the ages of 18 and 80.
The tests measured a participants reasoning, spatial visualization, episodic memory, perceptual speed and vocabulary.
Salthouse then sorted the results into age brackets and noticed a slight increase in scores relative to age at first, but then an slight decline after middle age - which is later than what many initially thought.
"There is now convincing evidence that even vocabulary knowledge and what's called crystallized intelligence decline at older ages," Salthouse told the news outlet.
Increased insight into the mental wellness of older adults may provide for better eldercare in the future. The need for care in the coming years could be important, as the number of elderly in the United States is expected to increase, and recent surveys have shown that around 58 percent of older adults require some level of care.