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Low education makes the brain age faster

RATE THIS! +36
Posted in Science on 27th Jul, 2014 02:04 AM by AlexMuller

Growing old isn’t fun. Our joints and muscles get weaker and our brain and mental capacities get slower. But this happens faster for some than for others. That’s the conclusion of a new Danish study that found that people with little lose mental and cognitive abilities much faster than those who do more years at school.

 
When the scientists looked at the participants’ educational backgrounds and lines of work and compared them with how their cognitive performances deteriorated over the years they found a considerable difference. “It seems that challenging the intellect daily counters the wear and tear of the brain brought on by ageing,” says Eigil Rostrup, consultant doctor at Glostrup Hospital and senior researcher behind the study which was recently published in the journal Human Brain Mapping.
 
Previous studies have shown that people with low incomes and limited education have a tendency to lead less healthy lifestyles than others and exercise less. This kind of lifestyle leads to a higher risk of dementia and ageing of the brain, and could perhaps explain the results.
 
“We expected to see a majority of smokers and overweight people in the group of participants whose mental capacities had deteriorated the most, as the unhealthy lifestyle is hard on the body. But surprisingly that wasn’t the case,” says Rostrup. “The obvious interpretation is that people with limited education and a job that’s less mentally demanding age faster, because they don’t exercise their cognitive functions on a daily basis to the same extent,” he says.

Tags: brainagingdementiaIQeducation

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-27
+2
It is good that this problem, dementia, is now well recognised and, even more importantly, that something is done about it. Recently, leading nations have committed to developing a cure or treatment for dementia by 2025 at the G8 dementia summit.
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-27
+2
We all know that people are living longer and that dementia sufferers will increase as a consequence. The predictions that it will increase 3x is nevertheless alarming. Time to put lots of resources into this - well recognised and followed by actions
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-27
+0
Yes, dementia is incurable and ultimately leaves people needing full-time care as brain function wastes away. There is growing concern that some countries will simply not cope with the growing burden of dementia in the near future Reply
Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-27
+2
The World Health Organization is likely to identify dementia as "an increasing threat to global health" and there is an urgent need to help countries adapt to the dementia timebomb. The observations reported here are important for the future and next generation, however, they not addressing this immediate crisis Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-27
+2
It's common knowledge that regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and can prevent obesity and heart disease, and previous studies have shown exercise can create a sharper mind. However,recent study points out that exercising at a younger age affects cognition in later years. So we need both mental and physical exercise! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-27
+0
This study, however, is "only a small step towards being able to predict dementia and Alzheimer’s, as the researchers normally can’t compare the individual patient’s cognitive performance at a young age with their performance late in life" Reply


 

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