Education fights Alzheimers disease?
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses research that correlates higher education levels with Alzheimer's disease prevention. This finding has not been fully supported.
There has been some epidemiological evidence. When I say epidemiological, what I mean is looking back over a patientâ€™s history once they have the diagnosis of Alzheimerâ€™s disease. You take a long history of what their educational level is, what drugs theyâ€™ve been on during their life and you can pull apart different risk factors to try and see if there is an association between having the disease and something else theyâ€™ve done in their life. If you do that, you do see some trend for educational level being beneficial in preventing Alzheimerâ€™s disease. This comes down to the old story of the more you have, the more you have to lose before you see any impact on memory. Someone with a PhD, for instance, supposedly has a lower risk of developing Alzheimerâ€™s disease than somebody who didnâ€™t graduate high school. I think the more common thinking now is not so much just your educational level, but your continuing education through life. If youâ€™re an avid reader, if you are a teacher that has to keep up on things throughout life, you seem to be somewhat protected from Alzheimerâ€™s disease. Now, thatâ€™s not saying that youâ€™re not going to get it, this is really just trending. Some studies really do show it well and other studies donâ€™t show an affect. Itâ€™s not a bad thing to have an education, but at the same time, I canâ€™t say for sure that it prevents Alzheimerâ€™s disease.
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An overview of Alzheimer's disease-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Professor Donna Wilcock describes amyloid plaques as clumps of protein in the brain that are one of the three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses late-onset Alzheimer's disease, which involves the clearance and/or production of the amyloid beta protein.
Professor Donna Wilcock describes how neurofibrillary tangles choke neurons, causing them to die. This is one of three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.