Education cannot protect against Alzheimer's, study finds

Share this article:
Advanced levels of education do not protect against Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study that contradicts a number of earlier reports on the topic.

Researchers at Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago followed a large cohort (roughly 6,500 people) followed over a longer period of time (14 years). Rates of cognitive decline were measured at three-year intervals. More years of education do not lead to a slowing of cognitive decline, they found. Rather, higher education could lead to a higher overall level of cognitive function later in life. It takes a somewhat longer period of time to decline from that higher level of function, they said. A study last February from the University of Michigan Medical School found that education may be contributing to lower levels of cognitive decline among seniors today than a decade ago (McKnight's, 2/21/08).

The results of the latest study may indicate that brain exercises later in life will have little effect on the cognitive decline of an Alzheimer's patient, according to report authors. However, understanding that higher cognitive function results in a longer period of cognitive decline could affect Alzheimer's care and its costs, they note. The research appears in the latest issue of the journal Neurology.
Share this article:

More in News

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.