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 December 22, 2014 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 December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) 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