Cognitive Function, Dementia and Public Health Study

Researchers from France and the United Kingdom reported in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) that “a human’s ability to remember data, to reason, and understand things properly can start to worsen at the age of 45 years, and not 60 as many had believed”.

Study leader, Archana Singh-Manoux, at the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, France, and researchers from University College London in the UK, believe that..:

“..understanding cognitive aging will be one
of the challenges of this century.”

The authors stress that identifying cognitive decline onset is crucial for effective medical interventions. In other words, the earlier-on cognitive deterioration can be spotted, the better medical treatments tend to be.

The study included testing for cognitive functions including:

  • Memory
  • Vocabulary
  • Aural comprehension skills (listening skills)
  • Visual comprehension skills. The journal cites as examples, remembering as many words as possible that started with the letter “S” (phonemic fluency), or recalling as many animal names as possible (semantic fluency).

The findings included the identification of certain risk factors such as:

There are certain risk factors linked to cognitive decline, such as hypertension, obesity, and high cholesterol levels. Targeting patients with known risk factors might not only protect their hearts, but also prevent dementia from developing later on.

 

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