Brain structure changes dramatically as we get older. But changes in cognition are more varied: most of us experience rapid decline of abilities, such as memory, and almost no decline at all in others, such as language comprehension. How does the brain reorganise later in life, and why are these structural changes linked to the typical impairments of old age? These questions gave rise to the CamCAN study, a longitudinal study of 700 individuals from the ages of 18 to 88. Using measures of cognition, brain structure and brain function, CamCAN researchers are untangling the complex changes taking place in the aging brain. Based on these findings, they are investigating when (and how) it’s best to intervene to help people maintain their cognitive abilities as they get older.