Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Aging Brain, More Trouble With Financial Decisions?

Older people also tend to tolerate less financial risk, research suggests


Other questions asked the participants to consider financial situations in which the level of risk isn't clear. Overall, Levy said, "the choices that participants encountered in the experiment are simplified versions of real-life decisions."

Even though their brains were in good shape, the older people made worse decisions than younger people, Levy pointed out.

Older people didn't like risk much compared to young and middle-aged people, and neither did teens, she said. But the seniors were willing to take on more risk when it came to choosing between levels of financial loss.

What's going on? Levy pointed to one possibility: a loss in thinking powers related to deterioration of the brain due to aging. Also, she said, the study shows that seniors were less able to comprehend numbers than younger people.

Dr. Gary Small, a brain researcher and director of the Longevity Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the study is interesting. But, he said, it's limited because it may include seniors who suffer from "mild cognitive impairment -- a precursor to dementia -- which may have interfered with their decision-making."

What to do? "Doctors and families need to keep in mind that older adults may have new decision-making challenges as they age," Small suggested. "With important life decisions, family members should try to ensure that their older relative understands the key information involved in such decisions and the ramifications of alternative decisions."

The study appears in the Sept. 30 online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing