Thursday, October 23, 2008

Education and Alzheimer's disease

Better educated people have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease but it is unclear whether education has a protective effect against the condition or that people with more brainpower (cognitive reserve) to begin with can cope with the ravages of Alzheimer's better. The cognitive reserve theory has been given a boost by researchers in Milan who administered brain scans to 242 people with Alzheimer's, 72 with mild cognitive impairment and 144 healthy controls. Better-educated people had less glucose metabolism (which is produced by brain activity) in the posterior temporoparietal cortex and precuneus areas of the brain than less well-educated people who had the same level of cognitive functioning suggesting that although their brains had suffered more damage the better-educated people were more able to cope with it.

You can find out more about this research at

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