Health

Teens with cognitive impairments run a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease

Teens with cognitive impairments run a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease

Adolescent girls with lower memory for words and adolescent boys with lower mechanical reasoning had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, according to findings recently JAMA Network Open.

"The elucidation of specific cognitive skills in early life that reliably correlate with the risk of dementia in later life can inform targeted areas for prevention and intervention efforts," Alison R. Huang, MPH, from US research institutes in Washington, D.C., and colleagues.

Researchers analyzed IQ, general cognitive ability, cognitive ability and general academic fitness scores from 1960 in a cohort of 43,014 male adolescents and 42,749 female adolescents in addition to the claims and expenditure data of these patients in 2012 and 2013 for Medicare.

Huang and colleagues found that lower memory for words as teen was associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders in women (OR = 1.16, 95% CI, 1.05-1.28). ) and lower mechanical reasoning as a teenager was associated with increased odds of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders in men (OR = 1.17, 95% CI, 1.05-1.29) after accounting for demographic characteristics , socio-economic status as a teenager, regional effects and the gender of the participant.

In addition, lower performance in several other mathematics, visualization, reasoning and language proficiency tests as teenagers showed prominent, but weaker, associations of the same link. In total, 1,416 women and 1,239 men developed Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, researchers said.

"The mechanism that underlies the relationship between adolescent cognitive ability and [Alzheimer disease and related disorders] is still unclear; however, these results provide insight into the specific aspects of the cognitive skills involved, "Huang and colleagues wrote, and many of their findings reflect previous studies in which similar associations were examined.

Teenagers walk

Adolescent girls with lower memory for words and adolescent boys with lower mechanical reasoning had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, according to findings recently JAMA Network Open.

Photo source: Shutterstock

"Our results … generate the potential for specific measurements of cognitive skills to aid in the early identification of subgroups for which there is a risk [Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders]"They concluded.

Tom C. Russ, PhD, MRCPsych, The Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Center, in the United Kingdom, agreed that the findings of Huang and colleagues helped promote the understanding of cognitive skills as an adolescent with limited cognitive function age.

"However, as with any observational study, the need remains to clarify whether these associations are causal … we should now consider interventional research," he wrote, adding that research on both the adaptable and non-adaptable health factors that might affect the cognitive reserve, an important next step.

"If, as a result, the cognitive reserve could be altered prior to the clinical onset of dementia (even if Alzheimer's disease was present in the brain), this could delay the onset of these clinical symptoms, which in turn could increase the number of people would diminish worldwide affected by dementia, given the growing global public health pressures of dementia, this is a crucial question, "Russ wrote. – by Janel Miller

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The authors do not report relevant financial information.

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