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IQ Linked To Later Life Dementia

brainNew research suggests children with lower IQs are more likely to develop vascular dementia than children with high IQs.

Vascular dementia occurs when blood flow to the brain is impaired. It is the most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.

In the case-control study, published in the online issue of Neurology®, researchers 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.

The study was supported by the Alzheimer’s Research Trust and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

Source: American Academy of Neurology (AAN)

IQ Linked To Later Life Dementia

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). IQ Linked To Later Life Dementia. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/06/26/iq-linked-to-later-life-dementia/2510.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.