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Staying in education can help beat dementia

Published on 27/07/2010
People spend less time in education are more likely to need a healthcare plan to treat dementia, a new study has suggested.

Researchers have found that those who stay in school longer are less likely to suffer from the effects of dementia.

The team, from the UK and Finland, examined the brains of 872 people who had been part of three large ageing studies.

Prior to their deaths they completed questionnaires that involved details about their education.

They found that those with more education were just as likely to show physical signs of dementia in their brains.

However, they were much less likely to have exhibited symptoms of the disease, such as memory loss and confusion, during their lifetimes.

The study, published in the journal Brain, suggests education does not prevent dementia, but can help people cope with changes to the brain caused by the condition.

Dr Hannah Keage of the University of Cambridge, who co-authored the study, said: "One person may show lots of pathology in their brain while another shows very little, yet both may have had dementia.

"Our study shows that education in early life appears to enable some people to cope with a lot of changes in their brain before showing dementia symptoms."

The number of people in England that currently suffer from dementia is thought to be around 570,000.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
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