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Staying Sharp: Understanding and Maintaining Your Brain

Staying Sharp, a joint project of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and NRTA: AARP's Educator Community, focuses on understanding how the brain works and how we can maximize brain function and brain health, particularly in the second half of our lives.

Keep your brain in top condition with insights from the “Staying Sharp” booklets, which recount the most recent advances in brain studies. Printing and distributing the “Staying Sharp” booklets, in English and Spanish, is supported by a generous grant from the MetLife Foundation.

Quality of Life

Modern medicine has extended our life spans and is now rewriting the old rules of aging. More of us are living longer and want to live life to the fullest, no matter what our age. How much of the aging process is "normal," and how much can we do to improve our quality of life as we get older? Find out more about "cognitive fitness" and what brain
research can tell us about the characteristics of successful brain aging.

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Memory Loss and Aging

Memory and forgetting are perfectly normal, and essential, parts of everyday life. But what happens when we get older? Is memory loss inevitable? Is it an early sign of
Alzheimer’s? Learn more about what we can do to preserve our ability to remember and our other mental capacities as we age.

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Many people mistakenly believe that depression is normal for older people and that little can be done about it. Depression may be more common among older people, but it is not an inevitable part of aging. Depression is a serious medical disorder with biological causes, and it can be treated effectively in most people. Find out more about aging and
depression and what can be done to diminish the risk of developing the disease.

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Chronic Health Issues

Although the rate of disability among older adults is dropping, half of all Americans live with at least one chronic health problem. For more than one-third of Americans, chronic (long-lasting or recurring) illness takes the form of a brain disorder most often caused by stroke, head injury, or
degeneration of brain cells. Understanding the "what, when, why, and how" of your illness can help you manage your symptoms, make appropriate life adjustments, and regain control of your life.

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Learning Throughout Life

The human brain is a learning machine. But do we learn the same no matter our age? Recent advances in brain research offer good news for anyone interested in maintaining brain health for a lifetime of learning. Learning Through Life provides you with important information to help you rev up your brain for learning.

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Visit AARP's Brain Health Area

Find more ways to keep you brain sharp—including brain-building games and 50 quick tips to boost your noodle—on our brain-health page.

This content is brought to you by Staying Sharp, a partnership between NRTA: AARP's Educator Community and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.