List of Topics

SfC Home > Vitality > Physical Health >

Degradation of the Brain with Age

by Ron Kurtus (updated 22 February 2012)

While a child learns various life skills as their brain develops, elderly people face a degradation of those skills due to the brain not functioning as well as before. This can be seen most distinctly in patients with Alzheimer's disease. These people are essentially living life in reverse.

Many people in their senior years can delay the mental degradation process by remaining active.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions. Health Disclaimer

Comparing life skills

The following chart compares how the life skills of a child increase with age, while the same skills decrease in an Alzheimer's patient. These skills also decrease in the same manner as a person ages, although usually the person would die of some other disease before reaching the moderately severe stage of an Alzheimer's patient.

Child Development Approximate Age

Acquired abilities in child development
(or lost abilities due to Alzheimer's)

Stage after contracting Alzheimer's

12 or older

Hold a job

3 - Incipient


Handle simple finances

4 - Mild


Select proper clothing

5 - Moderate


Put on clothes unaided

6 - Moderately severe


Shower unaided



Toilet unaided


3-4 1/2

Control urine



Control bowels


15 months

Speak 5-6 words

7 - Severe

1 year

Speak 1 word


1 year



6-10 months

Sit up


2-4 months



1-3 months 

Hold up head





Source: Barry Reisberg, Silberstein Aging & Dementia Research Center, NYU

Alzheimer solutions

There really isn't much that can be done about the degradation of the brain and associated skills that come with old age if the person is inflicted with a disease such as Alzheimer's. Medical science is working on drugs and therapies that can delay this process.

Activity can delay process

Other people who are in their senior years can delay this process through maintaining their health and staying as physically and mentally active as possible.

The brain is like a muscle, and exercising it will help to maintain knowledge and skills. Physical activity allows a person to be able to perform the various tasks, as well as providing amble blood supply to the brain.


Elderly people face a degradation of various life skills due to the brain not functioning as well as before. This is especially true for Alzheimer's disease patients. They are essentially living life in reverse. Many people can delay the mental degradation process by remaining active.

Exercise and stay young

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


Comprehensive Center on Brain Aging - New York University

General Health Resources


(Notice: The School for Champions may earn commissions from book purchases)

Top-rated books on Aging

Top-rated books on Being Healthy

Students and researchers

The Web address of this page is:

Please include it as a link on your website or as a reference in your report, document, or thesis.

Copyright © Restrictions

Where are you now?

School for Champions

Physical Health topics

Degradation of the Brain with Age

Health topics



General diseases

Digestive problems





Complementary medicine

Dental health

Also see

Let's make the world a better place

Be the best that you can be.

Use your knowledge and skills to help others succeed.

Don't be wasteful; protect our environment.

You CAN influence the world.

Live Your Life as a Champion:

Take care of your health

Seek knowledge and gain skills

Do excellent work

Be valuable to others

Have utmost character

Be a Champion!

The School for Champions helps you become the type of person who can be called a Champion.