News ID: 98383
Publish Date : 31 December 2021 - 21:14

Academic Education Can Positively Affect Brain Aging

BERN (Dispatches) -- Scientists at the University of Zurich find that certain degenerative processes are reduced in the brains of academics. Their brains are better able to compensate age-related cognitive and neural limitations.
Having followed more than 200 senior citizens for over seven years, the researchers found that senior citizens with an academic background showed a significantly lower increase in typical signs of brain degeneration. Also, academics processed information faster and more accurately -- for example, when matching letters, numbers of patterns. The decline in their mental processing performance was lower overall.
Even though no causal link between education and reduced natural brain degeneration has so far been found, the following at least seems likely: “We suspect that a high level of education leads to an increase in neural and cognitive networks over the course of people’s lives, and that they build up reserves, so to speak. In old age, their brains are then better able to compensate any impairments that occur,” says neuropsychologist Lutz Jäncke. It is also possible that brains that are active well into old age are less susceptible to degeneration processes, adds the neuropsychologist, though this would have to be verified in the further course of the ongoing long-term study.