If you’re having trouble remembering things lately, or more problems understanding new things than you used to, don’t worry; you’re not losing your mind. But you may be losing your ability to think clearly — something that starts happening to men and women much younger than previously thought. New research suggests that cognitive function can start to deteriorate as early as age 45, according to research published in the British Medical Journal Thursday.
The assumption — and it’s a controversial one — has been that we start suffering this kind of loss in our 60s, but now we find that our brains begin to decline much earlier than previously thought, with new research showing memory, reasoning and comprehension skills can begin to deteriorate as early as age 45.
Growing evidence suggests that “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain,” the researchers write in the BMJ. Smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol — known risks factors for heart disease — have also been linked to increased risk of cognitive decline.