ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Tea drinkers have lower glaucoma risk

Basic Aromatherapy to Help Balance and Calm

Soy, cruciferous vegetables could help lower breast cancer treatment side effects

The Long-Term Benefits of Drinking Oolong Tea

Why You Should Try This Sweet-Smelling and Health-Boosting Essential Oil

Wonderful White Tea: A Drink Fit for an Emperor

Arnica: This Powerful Herb Promotes Various Kinds of Healing

Chamomile Tea: Why This Ancient Therapeutic Drink Still Stands Out Today

Get ‘Hooked’ on Cat’s Claw: The Many Benefits of This Amazonian Herb

Try Apple Cider Vinegar and Black Cumin Oil as Your Go-To Salad Dressing

 
Print Page
Email Article

Age Related Changes in the Brain's White Matter Affect Cognitive Function in Old Age

  [ 173 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • March 24, 2003


Age-related changes in the brain -- the appearance, starting around age 60, of "white-matter lesions" among the brain's message-carrying axons -- significantly affect cognitive function in old age. White-matter lesions are small bright patches that show up on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. What's more, hypertension may account for some of this cognitive impact. A full report on these relationships appears in the March issue of Psychology and Aging, which is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Psychologists want to find the factors that contribute to individual differences in cognitive functioning among the elderly, because, says lead researcher Ian Deary, Ph.D., "People who retain their cognitive function in old age tend to have higher quality of life and live longer." However, researchers have been stymied by the lack of data on the childhood cognitive performance of elderly individuals. Without that data, it is hard to tell whether individual differences are due to aging or existed all along. Luckily, Deary, from the University of Edinburgh, and his colleagues at the University of Aberdeen, discovered that on June 1, 1932, Scotland gave its 11-year-olds a validated cognitive test. With its results, the authors gained a measure of early-life cognitive ability for people who were in their late 70s at the time of the study.

Deary and his co-authors used local health registers to track down healthy living men and women who took the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932. Of the 427 possible matches, they contacted 327 people chosen at random; 83 of those people took part in a brain imaging study.

Testing took place in 1999, when most participants were 78 years old. Participants took four different cognitive tests, examining nonverbal reasoning, memory and learning, processing speed, and executive function. They also underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of their brains to allow researchers to assess the extent of white-matter lesions, which are like little scars in the brain.

The amount of brain white-matter abnormalities made a significant contribution to general cognitive ability differences in old age, independent of prior ability. In other words, if "Mary" tested better than "Billy" at age 11, they didn't necessarily test the same way at age 78. An elderly Mary might still have tested better, but the gap could have widened, narrowed or reversed --- and the differences in their white-matter lesions would matter more than differences in their earlier ability. In old age, the amount of white-matter lesions contributed 14.4 percent of the variance in cognitive scores; early IQ scores contributed 13.7 percent of the variance.

What's more, these two predictors of cognitive performance in old age were independent; they didn't consistently affect scores in the same way. That is, after taking into account people's mental ability in youth, these researchers establish a factor that contributes significantly to people's cognitive function in healthy old age.

Although white-matter lesions are viewed as a normal part of aging, and are found in people with no dementia or other neurocognitive disorders, they are linked with other health problems. In this study, hypertension accounted for a small but significant amount of variance both in white-matter lesion scores and in general cognitive scores in old age. This finding builds on other recent evidence that white-matter abnormalities may be related to circulatory problems (including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors).

Given the role played by white-matter abnormalities in cognitive performance, "Avoiding risk factors for [them] or preventing their accumulation may ameliorate age-related cognitive decrements," say the authors. "The understanding of the functional neurobiology of brain aging will be enhanced by the discovery of interactions among etiological factors."

In a side note, Deary and his colleagues observe that, "the search for the causes of intelligence differences in youth is relevant to research on aging because much variance from youth persists into old age."



Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil


Article Comments



Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment


 
Optimized Curcumin Longvida with Omega-3

Featured Products

Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get Energized with Malic Acid & Magnesium

Natural Remedies

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unlocking the Secrets of Peppermint, Acacia and Fennel Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unlocking the Secrets of Peppermint, Acacia and Fennel
Vitamin K-2 – A Key Player in Cardiovascular and Bone Health Vitamin K-2 – A Key Player in Cardiovascular and Bone Health
Strengthen Cell Function with Energy-Boosting Niagen Strengthen Cell Function with Energy-Boosting Niagen
The Fibromyalgia and Glutathione Link The Fibromyalgia and Glutathione Link
Secret Nutrient for Radiant Skin Secret Nutrient for Radiant Skin

CONTACT US
ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Credit Card Processing
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2018 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map