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Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
The authors regret that they incorrectly cited the source of financial support in the original publication. The acknowledgment should have read: This study was supported by the Health Promotion Fund, Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (08-23) and a grant of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health, Welfare & Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (A050079).
Background: An increasing body of evidence suggests that health behaviors may protect against cognitive impairment and dementia. The purpose of this study was to summarize the current evidence on health behavioral factors predicting cognitive health through a systematic review of the published literature.
Methods: PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were searched for studies on community representative samples aged 65 and older, with prospective cohort design and multivariate analysis. The outcome – cognitive health – was defined as a continuum of cognitive function ranging from cognitive decline to impairment and dementia, and health behaviors included physical activity, smoking, alcohol drinking, body mass index, and diet and nutrition.
Results: Of 12,105 abstracts identified, 690 relevant full-texts were reviewed. The final yield amounted to 115 articles of which 37 studies were chosen that met the highest standards of quality. Leisure time physical activity, even of moderate level, showed protective effects against dementia, whereas smoking elevated the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Moderate alcohol consumption tended to be protective against cognitive decline and dementia, but nondrinkers and frequent drinkers exhibited a higher risk for dementia and cognitive impairment. Midlife obesity had an adverse effect on cognitive function in later life. Analysis showed vegetable and fish consumption to be of benefit, whereas, persons consuming a diet high in saturated fat had an increased dementia risk.
Conclusion: The review demonstrates accumulating evidence supporting health behavioral effects in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Results indicate potential benefits of healthy lifestyles in protecting cognitive health in later life.
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