Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cognitive ability differences among the elderly explained

Date:
June 4, 2013
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
A new study shows compelling evidence that associations between cognitive ability and cortical grey matter in old age can largely be accounted for by cognitive ability in childhood.

A new study shows compelling evidence that associations between cognitive ability and cortical grey matter in old age can largely be accounted for by cognitive ability in childhood.

Related Articles


The joint study by the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, The Neuro, McGill University and the University of Edinburgh, UK was published today, June 4 in Molecular Psychiatry.

It has long been thought that preserving brain cortical thickness was a determining factor in superior cognitive ability in old age; however the rare availability of childhood cognitive scores reveals other possible explanations. The article's lead authors, Dr. Sherif Karama at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, and Dr. Ian Deary of the University of Edinburgh, found in fact that childhood cognitive ability accounted for more than two-thirds of the association between cognitive ability and cortical thickness in old age.

The researchers compared the results of standardized intelligence tests of 588 people taken when the subjects were 11 years old and when they were 70, as well as MRI brain scans taken when participants turned 73. Those with dementia were excluded from the analysis.

"Without early-life measures of cognitive ability, it would have been tempting to conclude that preservation of cortical thickness in old age is a foundation for successful cognitive aging when, instead, it is a lifelong association," says Dr. Karama, who has done extensive research into factors that influence cognitive development. "Reasons behind this lifelong association are likely complex. There might be a reciprocal, dynamic association between cortical thickness and cognitive ability. For example, greater cortical thickness in childhood could lead to greater cognitive ability, which in turn might lead to a greater likelihood to engage in stimulating activities that could result in better cortical maintenance. As a whole, these results can be viewed as compatible with the notion that the factors that account for associations between cognitive ability and cortical thickness in old age have been acting throughout one's life and are not exclusive to old age"

Funding for the joint study included grants from the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Quebec, the Research into Ageing programme, the Age-UK funded Disconnected Mind Project, the UK Medical Research Council, the Scottish Funding Council, UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, and the Medical Research Council.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S Karama, M E Bastin, C Murray, N A Royle, L Penke, S Muñoz Maniega, A J Gow, J Corley, MdelC Valdés Hernández, J D Lewis, M-É Rousseau, C Lepage, V Fonov, D L Collins, T Booth, P Rioux, T Sherif, R Adalat, J M Starr, A C Evans, J M Wardlaw, I J Deary. Childhood cognitive ability accounts for associations between cognitive ability and brain cortical thickness in old age. Molecular Psychiatry, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2013.64

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Cognitive ability differences among the elderly explained." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604135416.htm>.
McGill University. (2013, June 4). Cognitive ability differences among the elderly explained. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604135416.htm
McGill University. "Cognitive ability differences among the elderly explained." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604135416.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) — From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) — Wrongly categorized as lizard fossils, snake fossils now show the reptile could have developed earlier than we thought — 70 million years earlier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) — Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) — Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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