Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Less Education May Lead To Delayed Awareness Of Alzheimer's Onset

Date:
January 27, 2008
Source:
Washington University School of Medicine
Summary:
A review of epidemiological data has found evidence that people who spend fewer years in school may experience a slight but statistically significant delay in the realization that they're having cognitive problems that could be Alzheimer's disease.

A review of epidemiological data has found evidence that people who spend fewer years in school may experience a slight but statistically significant delay in the realization that they're having cognitive problems that could be Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists at the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reviewed data on 1,449 Alzheimer's patients from their center and 21,880 patients from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC), a collaboration of approximately 30 Alzheimer's disease research centers nationwide.

"We may have a group of people who are at risk for slightly delayed detection of Alzheimer's disease," says lead author Catherine Roe, Ph.D., a neurology research instructor at the ADRC. "Early detection of Alzheimer's disease is important as we progress toward treatments and cures because those treatments will need to be applied as early as possible to have the maximum possible benefit."

In an earlier study of patients with a form of Alzheimer's disease linked to a genetic mutation, Roe and other Washington University researchers found patients with more years of education were likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier. This surprised them because higher levels of education have typically been associated with decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The new study confirmed those surprising results, revealing that patients with 12 years or more of schooling were on average slightly younger when diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease than patients with less than eight years of schooling. Age of diagnosis for a group with eight to 11 years of schooling fell in-between the other two groups.

Next, researchers analyzed the severity of patients' dementia when they went to the Alzheimer's disease center for the first time. They found that patients with fewer years of education were likely to be more severely impaired on their first visit.

Alzheimer's disease is cumulatively disabling: The longer one has it, the worse the symptoms become. This suggested to the researchers that those with lower education levels may be slower to notice the early signs of disease, only going to see a specialist after their symptoms become impossible to ignore. Those with more education may be becoming aware of their symptoms while they are still relatively subtle, and seek a specialists' help early on in the disease process.

"People with higher education levels may be more likely to have a job or a hobby that highlights early cognitive impairment as well as better access to medical care," Roe says. "These could be factors that we need to incorporate into our procedures for screening patients for early signs of cognitive impairment."

Journal reference: Roe CM, Xiong C, Grant E, Miller JP, Morris JC. Education and reported onset of symptoms among individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Archives of Neurology, January 2008.

Washington University School of Medicine's 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School of Medicine. "Less Education May Lead To Delayed Awareness Of Alzheimer's Onset." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080123150503.htm>.
Washington University School of Medicine. (2008, January 27). Less Education May Lead To Delayed Awareness Of Alzheimer's Onset. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080123150503.htm
Washington University School of Medicine. "Less Education May Lead To Delayed Awareness Of Alzheimer's Onset." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080123150503.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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