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CVl Annual Review


CVl Annual Review

Charting Our Progress is CVL’s annual review, with archives available

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Study: Degraded Connections in the Brain Impairs Financial Ability

Sept. 14, 2017

A new study from the Center for Vital Longevity at The University of Texas at Dallas is among the first to investigate how degraded connections in certain parts of the adult brain might affect the ability to perform the financial calculations that are vital to everyday life among older adults.

The results, published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, relied on imaging the white matter connections within the brain and measuring how intact the connections are. Researchers found a correlation between the integrity of white matter — the tracts that allow communication between different brain regions — and the ability to calculate finances.

“As we age, we tend to see a degradation of the connective fibers that wire the brain, much like a vacuum cleaner cord that has been run over too much with years of housecleaning,” said Dr. Kristen Kennedy, senior author of the paper and assistant professor at the center and the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. “The insulation of the cord gets worn, and the electrical signal may not be conducted as well, or as rapidly. It’s a similar principle with conduction velocity across white matter brain connections.” …

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