(ABCNEWS.GO) — Those lost car keys that were an annoyance in your 30s can spark major anxiety in your 60s. Turns out it's pretty normal: The brain ages just like the rest of your body, says a new report that urges Americans to take steps to keep sharp in their senior years.
The prestigious Institute of Medicine examined what scientists know about "cognitive aging," changes in mental functioning as we get older.
This isn't a disease like Alzheimer's but a natural process — and it's not always bad. Wisdom can indeed increase with age, and years of experience can prove invaluable, stressed Dr. Dan Blazer, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Duke University who chaired the IOM committee.
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"The brain ages in all of us. But there's wide variability in the way the brain ages," Blazer said.