Predicting and Preventing Dementia

Predicting and Preventing Dementia

Adolescent boys who struggle to understand how basic machines work and young girls who have difficulty remembering words are at increased risk of developing dementia when they’re older, new research has found.

According to the longitudinal study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, lower mechanical reasoning in adolescence in boys was associated with a 17% higher risk of having dementia when they were 70. With girls it was a lower memory for words in adolescence that increased the odds of developing the degenerative disease.

It has been known for some time that the smarter you are throughout life, even as a child the less likely it is that you will develop dementia. Not a guarantee of protection – just a general trend. It has to do with cognitive reserve, the US researchers explain.

“Based on the cognitive reserve hypothesis, high levels of cognitive functioning and reserve accumulated throughout the life course may protect against brain pathology and clinical manifestations of dementia, ” they wrote.

This theory has been supported by a number of studies such as the Scottish Mental Health Survey that showed that lower mental ability at age 11 increased the risk ...

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