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Further education improves cognitive reserve and triggers improvement in selective cognitive functions in older adults: the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project

Citation

Thow, ME and Summers, MJ and Saunders, NL and Summers, JJ and Ritchie, K and Vickers, JC, Further education improves cognitive reserve and triggers improvement in selective cognitive functions in older adults: the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project, Alzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring, 10 pp. 22-30. ISSN 2352-8729 (2018) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.dadm.2017.08.004

Abstract

Abstract

Introduction

The strong link between early-life education and subsequent reduced risk of dementia suggests that education in later life could enhance cognitive function and may reduce age-related cognitive decline and protect against dementia.

Methods

Episodic memory, working memory, executive function, and language processing performances were assessed annually over 4 years in 359 healthy older adults who attended university for a minimum of 12 months (intervention) and were compared against 100 healthy adult controls.Discussion

These results suggest that complex mental stimulation resulting from late-life further education results in improved crystallized knowledge but no changes to fluid cognitive functions.

Results

Multiple group latent growth curve modeling revealed a significant improvement in language processing capacity over time in the intervention group. No changes were detected for episodic memory, working memory, or executive function.

Discussion

These results suggest that complex mental stimulation resulting from late-life further education results in improved crystallized knowledge but no changes to fluid cognitive functions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Research Group:Psychology
Research Field:Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health)
Objective Field:Health Related to Ageing
UTAS Author:Thow, ME (Dr Megan Thow)
UTAS Author:Summers, MJ (Dr Mathew Summers)
UTAS Author:Saunders, NL (Dr Nichole Saunders)
UTAS Author:Summers, JJ (Professor Jeffery Summers)
UTAS Author:Vickers, JC (Professor James Vickers)
ID Code:130865
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2019-02-18
Last Modified:2019-04-01
Downloads:35 View Download Statistics

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