But new research shows that many well-known effects of ageing may start decades before our twilight years.
According to scientists, our mental abilities begin to decline from the age of 27 after reaching a peak at 22.
The researchers studied 2,000 men and women aged 18 to 60 over seven years. The people involved who were mostly in good health and well-educated had to solve visual puzzles, recall words and story details and spot patterns in letters and symbols.
Similar tests are often used to diagnose mental disabilities and declines, including dementia.
March 25, 2009