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TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There are things people can do to preserve their brain function as they age, a report released Tuesday from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests.
"Changes in mental functions and capabilities are a part of aging and occur with everyone," report committee chair Dan Blazer, a professor of psychiatry emeritus at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., said in an IOM news release.
"The extent and nature of these changes vary widely and are gradual, and aging can have both positive and negative effects on cognition [thinking skills]. Wisdom and knowledge can increase with age, while memory and attention can decline," he said.
But the committee said there are things people can do to promote brain health. These include being physically active, and reducing and managing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.
It's also important to have regular discussions ...