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Living with Dementia

Education Lessens Dementia’s Effects

  • - Dementia News
  • Jul 04, 2011
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  • Viewed: 1881
Tags: | alzheimer's society | dementia | dementia changes | dementia resistant |

Scientists from the United Kingdom and Finland have discovered that a history of higher education both lowers the risk for and tempers the effects of dementia.

BBC News reports:

People who stay in education for longer appear to be better able to compensate for the effects of dementia on the brain, a study suggests.

A UK and Finnish team found those with more education were as likely to show the signs of dementia in their brains at death as those with less.

But they were less likely to have displayed symptoms during their lifetime, the study in Brain said.

Experts said scientists now had to find out why the effect occurred.

Over the past decade, studies on dementia have consistently shown that the more time you spend in education, the lower the risk of dementia.

But studies have been unable to show whether or not education - which is linked to higher socio-economic status and healthier lifestyles - protects the brain against dementia.


The researchers in this study examined the brains of 872 people who had been part of three large ageing studies.

Before their deaths they had also completed questionnaires about their education.

The researchers found that more education makes people better able to cope with changes in the brain associated with dementia.

Post-mortems showed the pathology - signs of disease - in the brains of people with and without long educations were at similar levels.

But the researchers found those with more education are better able to compensate for the effects of the condition.

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