Friday, February 20, 2009

Education lowers Alzheimer's risk?

Despite the common belief that education can tackle Alzheimer's disease (AD), studying does not slow cognitive decline among the elderly.

Previous studies had reported that more education lowers the risk of AD and dementia.

According to a study published in Neurology, the rate of cognitive decline does not depend on one's number of years of schooling; education, however, provides the individual with higher levels of cognitive functioning in old age.

Rush researchers concluded that more education is linked to becoming debilitated due to AD and dementia at older ages, adding that doing brain exercises can reduce the high cost of caring for individuals suffering from the condition.

In a separate study, US researchers reported that insulin protects the brain from the toxic proteins associated with AD, suggesting that taking diabetes drugs such as Avandia, or rosiglitazone can enhance this protective effect.