Memory loss is not an inevitable part of ageing and it is possible to be just as sharp in your 60s and 70s as you were in your 20s.

That is the finding of a study of a group of ‘super-agers’ by US scientists.

The ‘super-agers’, all in their 60s and 70s, performed just as well in memory tests as people a third of their age.

When they underwent brain scans it was revealed why. The parts of the brain related to learning new information showed no sign of the shrinkage that is normally associated with the ageing process.

What’s more, when memory test scores were compared to the MRI scans, it was found that those with the greatest thickness in the key brain regions measured by the scans performed the best in the memory tests.

Brain shrinkage and decreased performance as we move into our 50s and beyond has always been considered normal. But these ‘super-agers’ are proving it is not an inevitable part of the ageing process.

The million dollar question now is: Are ‘super-agers’ born this way or can lifestyle changes make us more likely to become ‘super-agers’?

Watch this space, as no doubt more research will be trying to answer that question.