June 14, 2024

We still do not know the factors that influence cognitive decline as we age Blog longevity: how to use

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We still do not know the factors that influence cognitive decline as we age  Blog longevity: how to use

Published by Ohio State University researchers Stady, at the beginning of the month, in which they used statistical models to try to correlate risk factors for cognitive decline in older adults in North America. The goal was to search for a model that would help overcome gaps that prevent more effective preventative action. In the United States, millions experience some form of cognitive decline in old age, but only 41% can be diagnosed with dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease or Lewy body disease. Previous research has identified several causes that contribute to this picture, but their impact has remained unclear.

Older adults at the bar: research attempts to identify risk factors that most influence cognitive decline – Image: Thomas G for Pixabay

Hui Zheng and colleagues analyzed data from 7068 individuals born between 1931 and 1941 who were already participating in a large longitudinal study (the Health and Retirement Study). Their mental abilities were regularly assessed between 1996 and 2016, and in addition, information ranging from health and socioeconomic conditions to exercise habit was also collected.

In all, the alleged risk factors made up 38% of the range in the participants’ scores on their cognitive functioning when they were 54 years old. The questions that made the most difference were education level, race, income, occupation and depression, and the scenario in early life carried more weight than diseases and behaviors in adulthood – such as a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. However, the same factors accounted for only 5.6% of the score difference in the range between 54 and 85 years.

The survey was published in the scientific journal “PLOS One”, and although it does not provide definitive answers, it points to the importance of socioeconomic status for maintaining intellectual abilities. And not alone: ​​another a job showed that an unfavorable economic condition is associated with a higher chance of developing a mental disorder in maturity. According to this research, published in the “Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health,” 58% of people with low education and economic instability in their 30s had developed some type of disorder by age 52.

However, physical activity, at any age, is associated with improved brain function in old age. One Stady, published last week by the “Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry,” states that while any type of exercise is beneficial, an exercise routine helps maintain mental sharpness. The researchers used information from 1,417 Britons born in 1946 who were tracked. They correlated cognitive tests taken when they were 69 years old with reports of physical activity at 36, 43, 53, and 60 to 64 and 69 years old. Scores ranged from zero (inactive at all ages) to five (active during that time), and the exercisers performed best on the assessment.

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