Navigation Links
Mental Decline Can Start at 45, Study Finds
Date:1/6/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Sorry, Boomers, but a new study suggests that memory, reasoning and comprehension can start to slip as early as age 45.

This finding runs counter to conventional wisdom that mental decline doesn't begin before 60, the researchers added.

"Cognitive function in normal, healthy adults begins to decline earlier than previously thought," said study author Archana Singh-Manoux.

"It is widely believed that cognitive ability does not decline before the age of 60. We were able to show robust cognitive decline even in individuals aged 45 to 49 years," added Singh-Manoux, research director at INSERM's Center for Research in Epidemiology & Population Health at the Paul-Brousse Hospital in Paris.

These findings should be put in context of the link between cognitive function and the dementia, Singh-Manoux said.

"Previous research shows small differences in cognitive performance in earlier life to predict larger differences in risk of dementia in later life," she said.

Understanding cognitive aging might enable early identification of those at risk for dementia, Singh-Manoux said.

The report was published in the Jan. 5 issue of BMJ.

For the study, Singh-Manoux and colleagues collected data on nearly 5,200 men and 2,200 women who took part in the Whitehall II cohort study. The study, which began in 1985, followed British civil servants from the age of 45 to 70.

Over 10 years, starting in 1997, the participants' cognitive function was tested three times. The researchers assessed memory, vocabulary, hearing and vision.

Singh-Manoux's group found that over time, test scores for memory, reasoning and vocabulary skills all dropped. The decline was faster among the older participants, they added.

Among men aged 45 to 49, reasoning skills declined by nearly 4 percent, and for those aged 65 to 70 those skills dropped by about nearly 10 percent.

For women, the decline in reasoning approached 5 percent for those aged 45 to 49 and about 7 percent for those 65 to 70, the researchers found.

"Greater awareness of the fact that our cognitive status is not intact until deep old age might lead individuals to make changes in their lifestyle and improve [their] cardiovascular health, to reduce risk of adverse cognitive outcomes in old age," Singh-Manoux said.

Research shows that "what is good for the heart is good for the head," which makes living a healthy lifestyle a part of slowing cognitive decline, she said.

Targeting patients who have risk factors for heart disease such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol might not only protect their hearts but also prevent dementia in old age, the researchers said.

"Understanding cognitive aging will be one of the challenges of this century," especially as people are living longer, they added.

In addition, knowing when cognitive decline is likely to start can help in treatment, because the earlier treatment starts the more likely it is to be effective, the researchers noted.

Francine Grodstein, an associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and author of an accompanying editorial, said more research is needed into how to prevent early cognitive decline.

"If cognitive decline may start at younger ages, then efforts to prevent cognitive decline may need to start at younger ages," she said.

"New research should focus on understanding what factors may contribute to cognitive decline in younger persons," Grodstein added.

"This is consistent with what we have seen in other studies and the cognitive changes that occur as we age," said Heather M. Snyder, senior associate director of medical & scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association.

These changes do not mean that all these people will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease or another dementia, Snyder noted. "It is important to remember that the cognitive changes associated with aging are very different from the cognitive changes that are associated with Alzheimer's disease," she stressed.

Although some of these people may go on to develop Alzheimer's disease there is currently no way to tell who is at risk, Snyder said. "This is why it is so important to continue to investigate biological changes that occur in the earliest stages, because it is difficult to [determine] the cognitive changes that are associated with Alzheimer's disease," she said.

Snyder noted that Alzheimer's disease can start 15 to 20 years before symptoms are apparent, which makes finding a biological marker so important. "If a therapeutic is available, we can intervene at that point," she said.

More information

To learn about cognitive decline, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Archana Singh-Manoux, Ph.D., research director, INSERM, Center for Research in Epidemiology & Population Health, Paul-Brousse Hospital, Paris; Francine Grodstein, Sc.D., associate professor, medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D., senior associate director, medical & scientific relations, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago; Jan. 5, 2012, BMJ


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Even Today, the Stigma of Mental Illness Wont Fade
2. Virginia Man Wont Let His Mental Illness Define Him
3. Adversity, Trauma May Boost Mental Toughness
4. Chronic School Absenteeism Linked to Mental Health Problems
5. Widowers Who Stay Single Might Face More Mental Health Woes
6. Wolfson Foundation awards £20 million to UCL for experimental neurology center
7. New relationship important for the mental health of widowers
8. Association of lifestyle and environmental factors with the risk of cancer
9. Planting improves heart rate, stress levels of mentally challenged adults
10. Novel experimental agent is highly active in CLL patients, interim study shows
11. Expert Panel Pinpoints Environmental Culprits in Breast Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mental Decline Can Start at 45, Study Finds
(Date:2/11/2016)... PORTLAND, Ore. (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 ... ... found Medicaid coverage results in significantly higher rates of several common cancer screenings, ... early, resulting in better outcomes and survival rates. , The study,“What Does ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... known locally for a series of therapeutic sessions to help Los Angeles-area actors ... and in their lives. The series, known as “Mindfulness for Actors and Artists,” ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... are working together to expand dental health services to the developmentally disabled in ... We Care Dental’s operations to a new facility at 71-949 Highway 111, Suite ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Intermedix announced on Wednesday that it ... emergency medicine professional association, to support the organization's newly established physician group with ... Emergency Medicine, or AAEM, seeks to empower emergency physicians to control their own ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... 10 Best Water is excited to announce a new monthly ... topped the list as a result of their commitment to offering clients creative, customized, ... 5100, a top notch water company that specializes in providing the public with refreshing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... entered into an agreement with the University of ... candidates in standard animal models of ocular virus ... Director. Dr. Romanowski has extensive experience in ocular ... --> Eric Romanowski , Research Director. Dr. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq: GLMD ) ... development of a once-daily, oral therapy for the treatment ... Officer, Dr. Maya Halpern , has notified the Company ... Officer and from its Board of Directors effective as ... age. Allen Baharaff . Mr. Baharaff continued, ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016 Indiso ltd , ... need of pulmonary and respiratory diseases announced today positive ... on COPD and asthma patients show improvements in respiratory ... --> --> Upper and lower respiratory ... the developed world and reached epidemic level. Increasing number ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: