Low childhood IQ linked to type of dementia

Jun 26, 2008

Children with lower IQs are more likely decades later to develop vascular dementia than children with high IQs, according to research published in the June 25, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia occurs when blood flow to the brain is impaired.

The study examined 173 people in Scotland who took a test of their mental ability in 1932 when they were about 11 years old and later developed dementia. This group was compared to one set of control participants of the same age and gender. For another group of controls, the researchers made sure that the cases and controls came from families where the fathers had similar types of occupations.

The people with vascular dementia were 40 percent more likely to have low test scores when they were children than the people who did not develop dementia. This difference was not true for those with Alzheimer's disease.

"These results point to the importance of reducing the vascular risk factors that can lead to strokes and dementia," said study author John M. Starr, FRCPEd, of the University of Edinburgh. "Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking."

Starr said the findings support the hypothesis that low childhood IQ acts as a risk factor for dementia through vascular risks rather than the "cognitive reserve" theory. This theory speculates that greater IQ and education create a buffer against the effects of dementia in the brain, allowing people with greater cognitive reserve to stay free of signs of dementia longer, even though the disease has started affecting their brains.


Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

More evidence links diabetes to Alzheimer's risk

Mar 16, 2009

(AP) -- You've heard that diabetes hurts your heart, your eyes, your kidneys. New research indicates a more ominous link: That diabetes increases the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease and may speed dementia once it strikes.

An Alzheimer's vaccine in a nasal spray

Feb 28, 2011

One in eight Americans will fall prey to Alzheimer's disease at some point in their life, current statistics say. Because Alzheimer's is associated with vascular damage in the brain, many of them will succumb through a painful ...

Look after your brain

Feb 20, 2011

As the average life span becomes longer, dementia becomes more common. Swedish scientist Laura Fratiglioni has shown that everyone can minimize his or her risk of being affected. Factors from blood pressure and weight to ...

Recommended for you

Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

5 hours ago

Printing whole new organs for transplants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the real-life budding technology could one day make actual kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs for patients ...

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds

7 hours ago

A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimise the risk of entrapment. The report, published online in the journal ...

Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

Jul 29, 2014

Removing the head tilt/chin lift component of rescue breaths from the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines could be a mistake, according to Queen's University professor Anthony Ho.

Burnout impacts transplant surgeons (w/ Video)

Jul 28, 2014

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a new national study on transplant surgeon ...

User comments : 0