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Oxford Mail, p.12, 04/03/2014 University life: Dr Susannah Murphy, Head of Affect and Cognition Group, Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, writes: ‘All of us face the prospect of old age. But does this have to go hand-in-hand with a deterioration of our metal abilities?

Think about volunteering for ageing brain power project

As we get older, mental functions such as memory, reasoning, attention and verbal fluency all start to deteriorate. Perhaps surprisingly, research suggests that these declines in ability start much earlier than might be expected – at least during our 40s, if not before. Given that more people are living longer, and the number of individuals experiencing the devastating effects of dementia is increasing, it is vital that we understand how brain function declines with age so that effective treatments can be developed. Here in Oxford, we are running a number of studies as part of the Cognitive Health in Ageing programme to investigate whether there are any forms of mental activity that are effective in boosting cognition in older adults. This research is an example of a successful partnership between the university and the NHS, working together to tackle a key health issue.’