Cognitive Function Decline With Aging Can Start Early

The decline of the brain is all the more reason to work harder on rejuvenation biotechnology and make better lifestyle choices: "researchers found a 3.6% decline in mental reasoning in women and men aged 45-49. They assessed the memory, vocabulary and comprehension skills of 7,000 men and women aged 45 to 70 over 10 years. ... Previous research had suggested that cognitive decline does not begin much before the age of 60. But the results of this study show that it could in fact begin in middle age. This is important, the researchers say, because dementia treatments are more likely to work at the time when individuals start to experience mental impairment. The results of the tests show that cognitive scores declined in all categories except vocabulary - and there was a faster decline in older people. The study found a 9.6% decline in mental reasoning in men aged 65-70 and a 7.4% decline for women of the same age. ... We now need to look at who experiences cognitive decline more than the average and how we stop the decline. Some level of prevention is definitely possible. Rates of dementia are going to soar and health behaviours like smoking and physical activity are linked to levels of cognitive function. It's important to identify the risk factors early. If the disease has started in an individual's 50s but we only start looking at risk in their 60s, then how do you start separating cause and effect? ... Previous research suggests that our health in mid-life affects our risk of dementia as we age, and these findings give us all an extra reason to stick to our New Year's resolutions. Although we don't yet have a sure-fire way to prevent dementia, we do know that simple lifestyle changes - such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check - can all reduce the risk of dementia."

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16425522

Comments

This study is pure crap. I am surprised anyone is listening to it. First of all, Britons (and they will be the first to admit it) drink copious amount of alcohol. Second, they have a legacy of a bad diet and they never exercise. Yes, these were middle class civil servants, but compared to the average person in the EU or NA, their lifestyle is extreme. I have lived in Briton and seen this with my own eyes. I believe that most people slow down at 70, if healthy, but speed of thought is not the same as wisdom. People continue to get smarter as they get older, if they take care of themselves.

Posted by: B.Millman at January 10th, 2012 9:44 PM

Pretty depressing. On the other hand, we're talking about the British equivalent of post office workers...

Posted by: Will Nelson at January 11th, 2012 8:52 AM

The two comments above are way off the mark. First, middle class civil servants in Britain are not the equivalent of U.S. mailmen. They are educated people, nearly all college grads, who work in offices. Second, the lifestyle of most people in NA is far worse: less exercise, more stress, and probably as much alcohol.

Posted by: Tony at October 2nd, 2012 2:35 PM

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