Professor James Cole, PhD and BrainKey's CEO, Owen Phillips, PhD have a conversation about BrainAge

Professor James Cole, Ph.D., has been working on measuring brain aging for 10+ years. He is a world expert on brain aging. In this video, he sat down with BrainKey’s CEO, Owen Phillips, Ph.D., and discussed what “BrainAge” is and how it may fit into the future of brain care.

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What is "BrainAge"?

Generally, aging is great. Really! It helps us change from soft, helpless babies into smart, strong adults. Without aging, our bones would not grow and our eyes would not learn to focus. Aging works on all aspects of our bodies - think of your muscles, without aging, they would not have gained the power to help you crawl, walk and run. Like our muscles, our brains are also physical structures that benefit from the aging process.

When we are young, our brains are packed with neurons that are ready to make billions of new connections. This is referred to plasticity. This plasticity helps us absorb the flood of new sights, sounds, smells and tastes that we are constantly bathed in, adapting to our environment. We have all these fresh neurons so we can control basic vital functions, such as breathing and swallowing and learn complex cognitive skills, like bike riding or singing in the shower.

How and why our brains change as we age is very complex and scientists are still working to figure it out. We have learned that there is a ton of variety in the way and pace that people age. You may have noticed that some people look much older compared to others of the same age. For example, think of external signs of aging, some people turn gray in their twenties, while others have smooth skin well into old age.

Importantly, one sign of aging doesn’t imply all of your body is aging. So even if your hair is turning gray, your brain might be still young and fiery! Because crucially, even within our own bodies, different parts can age at different rates.

The brain is your most valuable asset. Simply put, without our brains, there is not too much left of us. Therefore, scientists are fascinated with investigating the aging process of our brains. Fortunately, there is a lot of work currently underway to understand and measure how the brain is aging.

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