Havana, March 14.- Older Cuban adults with a pre-university level have 30 percent less risk from suffering Alzheimer's disease, according to a study of more than 3,000 people, led by local specialists since 2003,local press publishes today.
The risk of degenerative disease declined by 40 percent in college students compared to people at the elementary or lower education level, according to the research, conducted with people over 65.
The analysis took into account the effect of other factors such as age, sex and cardiovascular diseases. The tests used took into account the influence of the educational level, Juan de Jesus Llibre, president of the Cuban section of Alzheimer's, said in statements to Granma newspaper.
Envejecimiento y Alzheimer (Aging and Alzheimer) is the title of this study, whose main purpose is to provide information about chronic non-communicable diseases, and risk factors that affect the physical and mental health of the older people, with special emphasis on cognitive functions, as well as factors that are associated with a healthy brain aging.
For the researcher, education and lifelong cognitive stimulation decrease the risk of this disease, helping to develop a cognitive reserve that allows people to continue functioning at a normal level, despite being experiencing degenerative changes in their brains.
He further commented that while the effect of education and cognitive stimulation throughout life in neuroprotection is recognized, it is argued that people with higher education usually achieve better socioeconomic conditions, are more concerned about taking care of their health, adopt healthier lifestyles from childhood, and throughout life.
He also considered to take into account that aging depends on the genes, the environment and the lifestyle.
It is possible that with increasing age the older person will notice an increase in difficulty finding words, difficulty performing multiple tasks at the same time and a slight decrease in being able to pay attention, but will still be able to learn new things, create new memories and improve their vocabulary and language, he said.
Figures show that in Cuba, after age 65, approximately eight percent of older people develop mild cognitive impairment (people at risk of developing dementia) and 10 percent will suffer from the disease, Llibre said.
The number of people with this condition will increase in Cuba in the coming years with the accelerated process of aging of its population, of which more than 19 percent already has or exceeds 60, he warned. (Prensa Latina)