Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lower Childhood Intelligence Linked To Late-Onset Dementia

Date:
December 1, 2000
Source:
American Academy Of Neurology
Summary:
People with dementia are more likely to have had low scores on intelligence tests when they were children than people without dementia, according to a study in the November 28 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

ST. PAUL, MN – People with dementia are more likely to have had low scores on intelligence tests when they were children than people without dementia, according to a study in the November 28 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Late-onset dementia is defined as dementia that develops after age 64. The study found no link between childhood intelligence and early-onset dementia.

Several studies have suggested that environmental factors during childhood may contribute to the likelihood of developing dementia. But the relationship between childhood intelligence and dementia in later life hasn't been fully explored because few childhood intelligence test records are available for people who are old enough to have experienced the risk period for dementia, according to study author Lawrence Whalley, MD, of Aberdeen University in Aberdeen, Scotland.

This study relied on records from the Scottish Council for Research in Education of intelligence test scores of 87,498 children born in Scotland in 1921 who were tested at school in 1932. The researchers used medical records to find all 59 hospital-treated patients with early-onset dementia in Scotland from 1974 to 1988 who took the test in 1932. They also used public birth records to identify a comparison group of 118 people who took the test and had not developed early dementia. In addition, they identified all 892 people in Aberdeen City, Scotland, who were age 65 and had taken the test and compared test scores between the 50 who developed late-onset dementia and those who did not.

The study raises the question whether Alzheimer's disease is a developmental process beginning at conception or whether it is a disease acquired during the aging process, according to neurologist Richard Mayeux, MD, of Columbia University in New York, NY, who wrote an accompanying editorial on the study.

"If Alzheimer's disease is developmental, then the lower intelligence scores may reflect the earliest signs of the disease," Mayeux said. "This could then affect school performance, discouraging further schooling. These results may suggest that having less education is the result of Alzheimer's disease, not the cause of it. But there's not much evidence to support that view.

An alternative explanation is that people on the lower range of intelligence may be more vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease later in life, Mayeux said.

The question of when Alzheimer's disease begins is a challenge for researchers because there is no definitive biological marker for the disease, Mayeux said.

"Right now, when there is no way to prevent the disease, that question may seem moot," he said. "But if preventive therapies such as estrogen, anti-inflammatory agents and gingko biloba or the vaccine targeting amyloid accumulation prove to be effective, then the need to know when the disease starts will become crucial."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy Of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy Of Neurology. "Lower Childhood Intelligence Linked To Late-Onset Dementia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001129074122.htm>.
American Academy Of Neurology. (2000, December 1). Lower Childhood Intelligence Linked To Late-Onset Dementia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001129074122.htm
American Academy Of Neurology. "Lower Childhood Intelligence Linked To Late-Onset Dementia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001129074122.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins