Education may not affect how fast you will lose your memory

Feb 02, 2009

While a higher level of education may help lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research shows that once educated people start to become forgetful, a higher level of education does not appear to protect against how fast they will lose their memory. The research is published in the February 3, 2009, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

In the study, scientists tested the thinking skills of 6,500 people with an average age of 72 from the Chicago area with different levels of education. The education level of people in the study ranged from eight years of school or fewer to 16 or more years of schooling. Interviews and tests about memory and thinking functions were given every three years for an average of 6.5 years.

At the beginning of the study, those with more education had better memory and thinking skills than those with less education. However, education was not related to how rapidly these skills declined during the course of the study.

The study found that results remained the same regardless of other factors related to education such as occupation and race and the effects of practice with the tests.

"This is an interesting and important finding because scientists have long debated whether aging and memory loss tend to have a lesser affect on highly educated people. While education is associated with the memory's ability to function at a higher level, we found no link between higher education and how fast the memory loses that ability," says study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, with the Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Unlocking the secrets of pulmonary hypertension

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Latin America universities fail to make grade

Oct 13, 2014

Nobel prize week can prompt uncomfortable soul-searching at universities in Latin America, which has produced relatively few winners in the sciences—a symptom, experts say, of the region's struggles in ...

Physics: A fundamental force for future security

Feb 13, 2014

What is matter? What is energy? What holds matter together? How do the various constituents of the universe interact at the most basic level? Where does the Earth sit in relation to the rest of the universe? ...

Recommended for you

Unlocking the secrets of pulmonary hypertension

2 hours ago

A UAlberta team has discovered that a protein that plays a critical role in metabolism, the process by which the cell generates energy from foods, is important for the development of pulmonary hypertension, a deadly disease.

New molecule sneaks medicines across the blood/brain barrier

7 hours ago

Delivering life-saving drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) might become a little easier thanks to a new report published in the November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal. In the report, scientists describe an antibo ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.