How poverty changes the brain - and what this means for an ageing population

How poverty changes the brain - and what this means for an ageing population How poverty changes the brain - and what this means for an ageing population

February 5, 20181 min read
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A 2014 report by Economic Mobility Pathways in Boston found that a person's brain may play a significant role in whether or not that person can rise out of poverty - is it really as simple as it sounds though?


When an individual lives in poverty, research suggests the brain's limbic system is constantly sending fear and stress messages, overloading a person's ability to solve problems, set goals, and complete tasks.

This leaves the brain overwhelmed and incapable of prioritizing or taking on other things.


It's a constant state of stress and it can last for generations.


But there is hope that the cycle can be broken. If so, it may impact every demographic and segment of the population.


So, what will this mean for the next generation of older adults? Will these results trickle up? Will it mean older adults living in poverty may be better supported?


It's not an easy topic to break down. That's where the experts from the IFA come in. Click on one of the icons to arrange an interview today.


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  • Dr. Debra Whitman
    Dr. Debra Whitman Chief Public Policy Officer

    Dr. Debra Whitman is an authority on aging issues with extensive experience in policymaking, research and the political process.

  • Dr. Ruth Finkelstein
    Dr. Ruth Finkelstein Associate Director

    Dr. Ruth Finkelstein translates interdisciplinary scientific knowledge on aging and its societal implications into policy-focused practice.

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