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Living with Dementia


  • - Normal Aging & Dementia
  • Jun 25, 2011
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Recent research has advanced our understanding of the boundary between normal aging and dementia. In addition to illuminating changes associated with both normal and abnormal aging, researchers have identified a group of individuals whose cognitive deficits place them in an intermediate position on the continuum between normal aging and dementia. The study of the continuum is complicated by remarkable variability across individuals and domains of functioning.

Aging is characterized by both decremental and incremental changes (Albert 1988). As a result, the range and standard deviation for almost any variable of interest increase with age (Rowe and Wang 1988). Emerging evidence from studies of neurogenesis indicates regenerative potential in the adult human brain (Kempermann and Gage 1999; Horner and Gage 2000; Shihabuddin et al. 2000) and possible neural recruitment (Reuter-Lorenz, Stanczak, and Miller 1999) that may be associated with successful cognitive aging or recovery from brain insults.


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