Having a mentally challenging occupation and higher levels of education appears to buffer the effects of brain changes and damage caused by Alzheimer disease (AD), according to a new study by Italian scientists (Garibotto V et al. Neurology. 2008;71:1342-1349).
The researchers tested memory and cognitive skills of 242 individuals with AD, 72 with mild cognitive impairment, and 144 controls; they also used brain imaging to measure participants' brain glucose metabolism to assess the extent of AD pathological changes.
Stephenson J. Alzheimer Disease Protection. JAMA. 2008;300(19):2239. doi:10.1001/jama.300.19.2239-c