Education, work and socializing may help prevent cognitive decline in the brain

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< /p>August 3 news from the American Academy of Neurology

In the recent American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Medical Journal In a study published in Neurology, researchers looked at genes and life-course factors that may help build a “cognitive reserve” ” (cognitive reserve), providing a buffer against disease.

Research published in Neurology on August 3, 2022 (latest impact factor):

They found that factors such as participation in clubs, religious groups, sports or arts activities, as well as education, occupation and reading ability at age 26 may affect the cognitive reserve of the brain . This study suggests that continuous learning throughout life may help protect the brain, even in those who scored low on cognitive tests in childhood. Previous research has shown that people with lower scores in childhood are more likely to experience more severe cognitive decline in old age than people with higher scores.

“These results are exciting because they show that cognitive ability is influenced by a variety of factors throughout our lives, with participation in intellectual, social, and physical activity. Lifestyle may help prevent cognitive decline and dementia,” said study author Dr Dorina Cadar, from Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), UK. It is encouraging that building one’s cognitive reserve may counteract the negative effects of low cognitive abilities in childhood in individuals who, while not benefiting from an enriched childhood, provide stronger psychological well-being later in life Flexible.”

Dr. Dorina Cadar

this The study involved 1,184 people born in the UK in 1946 (British Birth Cohort Study 1946). They took cognitive tests at 8 and 69 years old. The Cognitive Reserve Index combines people’s education level at age 26, participation in enriching leisure activities at age 43, and occupation until age 53. Their reading ability at age 53 was also tested as a measure of overall lifelong learning independent of education and occupation.

Participants had a maximum overall cognitive test score of 100 at age 69. The average score for this group was 92, with a minimum score of 53 and a maximum score of 100.

Researchers found that higher childhood cognitive ability, higher cognitive reserve index, and higher reading ability were all associated with cognitive ability at age 69. associated with a higher test score. The researchers found that for every one-unit increase in test scores in childhood, cognitive test scores in old age increased by an average of 0.10 points. The cognitive reserve index increased by one unit, the cognitive score increased by 0.07 points on average, and the reading ability increased by one unit, the cognitive score increased by 0.22 points on average.

People with a bachelor’s degree or othertertiary education received an average of 1.22 more points than those with no formal education. Those who participated in more than 6 leisure activities such as adult education classes, clubs, volunteering, social activities, gardening scored an average of 1.53 more points than those who participated in more than 4 leisure activities. The average score for professional or mid-level occupations is 1.5 points higher than the average for some skilled or unskilled occupations.

The study also found that people with higher cognitive reserve index and reading ability had higher cognitive Scores on the test did not drop as fast as lower scorers, regardless of their test scores at age 8.

Icahn Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY Dr Michal Schnaider Beeri, who wrote an editorial for the study, said: “From a public health and societal perspective, investing in higher education, expanding opportunities for leisure activities and Cognitively challenging activities for people in low-skilled occupations may have broad, long-term benefits. ”

Onelimitation of this study was that compared to those who did not complete the study, People who participated in the study until age 69 were likely healthier, had better overall thinking skills, and were more socially advantaged, so results may not reflect the general population.

This research was supported by the Alzheimer’s Association UK, the UK Medical Research Council, the US National Institute on Ageing and the UK Economic and Social Research Council .

Founded in 2002 by Brighton and Sussex Medical College

References

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Study: Education, job, and social life may help protect brain from cognitive decline

Reference:

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Pamela Almeida-Meza, Marcus Richards, Dorina Cadar. Moderati ng Role of Cognitive Reserve Markers Between Childhood Cognition and Cognitive Ageing: Evidence From the 1946 UK Birth Cohort. Neurology, 2022 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200928

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