Narrator: This is Science Today. Memory loss is often regarded as one of the hallmarks of aging, but according to aging specialist Mary Haan of the University of California, Davis, that's not necessarily the case.
Haan: It's not inevitable. In fact, a large number of older people don't suffer memory loss, so we can actually look at that and decide this is what causes memory loss -- cognitive decline. And we're going to intervene and figure out how to stop that decline from happening or to postpone it to older ages.
Narrator: To do this, Haan says there must be more preventative intervention programs to alleviate or postpone both functional and cognitive decline in the elderly.
Haan: And so what we need to do is try to support people so that they don't decline in function, so they're able to do things physically and also so that they're cognitive abilities don't decline. And by that, I mean things like memory loss.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.