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Home > Research Articles > Getting Old Doesn't Mean Getting Dull

HealthScoutNews

Friday, February 21, 2003

Mayo Clinic study, refuting the fears of many, finds that people in their 90s are still mentally sharp.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthScoutNews) -- Many of the fears that people have about suffering a decline in their mental abilities as they live into their 90s and beyond are unfounded, says a Mayo Clinic study.

These fears can include: getting lost in your own neighborhood; being unable to manage your finances; having your driver's license revoked; or being shipped off to a nursing home.

However, the Mayo study says that many people who are 90 and above are still mentally sharp. The researchers found that a significant proportion of people aged 90 to 99 are free of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

While others in that age group may have some problems with memory, they're free of full dementia and able to live independently.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, included 111 residents of Rochester, Minn., aged 90 to 99. Of those, about half had normal mental function.