“These results are exciting because they show that cognitive ability is influenced by a variety of factors throughout our lives, and that participation in an intellectually, socially and physically active lifestyle is very important.” substances that can help prevent cognitive decline and dementia may not benefit from a childhood that is rich and provides stronger mental resilience until later in adulthood, considering that we struggle to successfully treat dementia , this study promises that we can and should build on what Study Author Dorina Cadar of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School says is our mental resilience throughout our lives before it’s too late.
1,184 UK citizens born in 1946 participated in the study. Cognitive tests were administered to participants when they were 8 years old and again when they were 69. The Cognitive Reserve Index calculated people’s occupations up to age 53, enriching participation recreational activities at age 43 and educational attainment at that age. In addition to school and work, their reading fluency at age 53 is also rated as a common indicator of lifelong learning.
Study participants took a cognitive test at the age of 69, with an overall possible score of 100. The average score of this group was 92, with the lowest score being 53 and the best being 100.
The researchers found that higher reading proficiency in middle age, higher cognitive reserve, and better cognitive skills in childhood were all associated with better performance in reading cognitive testing at age 69. The senile cognitive test scores improved by an average of 0.10 points for each unit increase in the childhood test results. The mean cognitive score improved by 0.07 points for each unit of increase in cognitive reserve index and 0.22 points for each unit of improvement in reading comprehension.
On average, those with a bachelor’s degree or other higher education certificates outperformed those without formal education by 1.22 points. Participants in six or more recreational activities, such as clubs, volunteer work, social activities, gardening, and adult education classes, outperformed those who participated in up to four leisure activities 1.53 points. The average score of a person with a professional or intermediate level is 1.5 points higher than that of a person with a high-skilled or high-school education.
Regardless of test results at age 8, those with better cognitive reserve and reading proficiency did not see their cognitive decline as quickly as those with lower scores.
Katherine Gray, Director of Research Communications at the Alzheimer’s Association, said, “This long-term Alzheimer’s Association-funded study adds to a popular theory that the more often you challenge your brain, , the less likely you are to have memory and thinking problems in later years.From childhood to adulthood, participants keep their brains active, whether it’s in their education or occupation. them or by engaging in complex interests, are able to think better by the age of 69. It is estimated that the number of people with dementia in the UK is expected to increase to 1.6 million people by 2040. While there are many risk factors associated with developing dementia, it is hoped that engaging in mentally stimulating activities and finding ways to regularly challenge the brain may help reduce the development of memory and problem thinking in the future.”
However, the study has one limitation – the results of this study may not be representative of the general population. Study participants who stay at age 69 may be healthier, more cognitively capable, and more socially beneficial than participants who drop out.