After about the age of 30, your brain begins to lose neurones. And by the time you’re 80, your brain weighs about 7 per cent less than it did when you were 25. But there are only a few cognitive losses that can be attributed to ageing. First, as the brain ages, the speed at which it processes information slows.
Second, certain types of memory do decline — for instance, the ability to recall a name or a particular word. None of this has to make any difference to your thinking and mental functioning or to your ability to remain independent. For tips to imrpove your brain power, click here.
No bones about it
Until about the age of 30, we make more bone than we lose. After 40, we lose about 1 per cent of our bone mass per year. Women lose as much as 20 per cent of their bone density in the five to seven years after the onset of menopause, dramatically increasing the risk of fractures. Though your bone mass decreases, you can stave off much of this loss with calcium and vitamin D, adequate protein intake, weight-bearing and strength-training exercise and, in some cases for women, hormone replacement therapy.
The reproductive changes you’ll experience with age are gradual and need not hamper your ability to enjoy sex. Sexually active older men continue to produce sexual hormones and sperm at about the same levels as they did when they were younger. They may experience problems with the prostate, which enlarges and presses against the urethra.
Women have a pronounced drop in hormone levels resulting in menopause, which has significant health implications. For information about menopause, click here.
Are you immune?
Your thymus gland, which governs the production of T-cells — your body’s main line of defence against infection and disease — shrinks asyou age. The result? You’re less able to fight off illness. But medicine has eliminated or reduced the impact of many infectious diseases and simple measures, such as taking vitamins and herbs and getting enough sleep, can actually increase your immunity.
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