DAVE & DUJANOVIC

SuperAgers — who are they, are you one, and can you become one?

Dec 1, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Dec 2, 2022, 1:14 pm
Super agers have been identified by researchers as men and women over age 80 that have the cognitiv...
FILE - In a May 19, 2015 file photo, R. Scott Turner, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Memory Disorder Center at Georgetown University Hospital, points to PET scan results that are part of a study on Allheimer's disease at Georgetown University Hospital, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

SALT LAKE CITY — What makes a person a “SuperAger“?  They are men and women older than 80 with the mental faculties of people decades younger.

The term SuperAger was coined by Northwestern SuperAging Research Program, which has been studying the elderly with superior memories for 14 years.

 If an octogenarian‘s memory is as good or better than cognitively normal people in their 50s and 60s, then they are accepted into the study on SuperAgers, as reported by CNN.

“SuperAgers are required to have outstanding episodic memory — the ability to recall everyday events and past personal experiences — but then SuperAgers just need to have at least average performance on the other cognitive tests,” said cognitive neuroscientist Emily Rogalski, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Let’s talk about SuperAgers

Jeremy Cunningham, who is the public policy director with the Utah Alzheimer’s Association, discusses what we can do to increase our cognitive ability. He joins KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic with Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic.

“What are the things the Alzheimer’s Association recommends we do to maybe make ourselves a SuperAger?” Debbie asked.

“Well, one of the greatest things that we can do is staying active, staying social. Watching what we’re eating. I think to say — individuals saying, ‘Well, I’m not going to have carbs. I’m going to do strictly protein and things.’ I think you really have to look at more of a Mediterranean-style diet. I think it’s ridiculous to cut carbs out completely . . . I know that there are certain disease factors that can play into Alzheimer’s such as diabetes, weight gain and–”

“There’s a predisposition as well,” Dave said. “There are genes like this Chris Hemsworth thing.”


USA TODAY reports:

Actor Chris Hemsworth, Marvel’s Thor, generated a lot of interest in Alzheimer’s disease earlier this month when he revealed genetic testing showed he had two copies of the APOE-e4 gene, one of the known risk factors for developing the disease.

Hemsworth subsequently announced he would be stepping away from acting to spend more time with his family and reassess his priorities.


“And that’s something really interesting in itself. Just because someone carries the gene from both parents, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to get that,” Cunningham said.

Cut Alzheimer’s risk

He suggested reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other diseases by ensuring you get enough sleep every night.

Cunningham also said people need to be taking cognitive tests earlier because the Alzheimer’s drugs now in trial phases are most effective when diseases are detected early.

“I do not know if I’ve ever taken a cognitive test,” Debbie said.

“It literally can take five minutes,” Cunningham said.

“I think a lot of people are afraid to do it, though,” Dave said.

Related reading:

 

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Multiple dollar bills are pictured, social security will see a bump...
Mark Jones

Eyeing retirement: How much money is enough after you leave a job?

How do you know when it's time to leave a job or if you'll have enough for retirement? Dave and Dujanovic talk to a financial planner about this important question.
5 days ago
interest rate...
Curt Gresseth

Interest rate ticks up. Time to tame your debt.

The chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com joins the show to talk about the rising interest rate and how you can get out from under the debt you have accumulated.
5 days ago
One of the topics being discussed during the 2023 Utah Legislative Session is how to combat the tea...
Mark Jones

Bill would allow individuals to become teachers without a bachelor’s degree

A bill being discussed on in the legislative session would allow for individuals to become teachers without obtaining a bachelor's degree.
6 days ago
The main reason small businesses fail in America is that the business owner doesn't have access to ...
Simone Seikaly

Lack of access stands between Black-owned businesses and success

But lack of access to money isn't the only thing that hinders Black-owned business in Utah and across the nation.
6 days ago
More Americans are struggling to pay their energy bills.  Nearly 1.5 million more U.S. households ...
Curt Gresseth

Cost of heating homes in Utah rising as thermometer sinks

The cost of heating a home in Utah is rising because demand has increased and the drought in the West has cut into production.
6 days ago
A bill that could make its way to the Utah legislature in the 2023 session would require school dis...
Mark Jones

Potential redesign of new Utah State Flag emphasizes Native American tribes

Sen. Dan McCay (R-Riverton) is sponsoring a bill that would call for a slight redesign of the new Utah State Flag.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
SuperAgers — who are they, are you one, and can you become one?