Improved Cognitive Health among the Elderly
Cognitive health has improved among older Americans according to a study by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Akinso: Cognitive health has improved among older Americans according to a study by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Mental Health. Researchers compared the cognitive health of older people in 1993 and 2002. They found that higher levels of education were associated with better cognitive health. Dr. Richard Suzman, Director of the NIA's Social and Behavioral Research Program, pinpoints some of the other possible factors within the improvement of cognitive health among the elderly.
Suzman: The really interesting question is what's causing this. Some of it may be the increase in education. I mean older people are getting more and more educated, but there was also some suggestion within the data that improve treatment for stroke, heart disease, and vascular conditions might also be factors in the improvement. If that's true that's also very good news because it shows that some fraction of cognitive impairment can be affected by interventions, by medical interventions, and by lifestyle interventions. There other data that were not investigated in this particular study have also shown that exercise is very good for the brain and for cognition.
Akinso: Dr. Suzman feels that further analysis of how education, medications, cardiovascular health and lifestyle affect cognitive functioning. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.