Academic Education Can Positively Impact Aging Of Brain: Study

Academic Education Can Positively Impact Aging Of Brain: Study - Sakshi Post

The advantages of a good education and ongoing learning last a lifetime. The first findings of a long-term study revealed that academics' brains have fewer degenerative processes. Their brains are better able to adapt to the cognitive and neurological limits that come with ageing.

A decent education is a fantastic way to start a successful profession and grow as a person. But, when we become older, does education have a favourable impact on our brains? This subject has now been investigated in a long-term study by a team of researchers led by Lutz Jancke, professor of neuropsychology at the University of Zurich, as part of the University Research Priority Program "Dynamics of Healthy Aging."

Over seven years, the researchers monitored over 200 older adults. Participants in the research are free of dementia, have an average to above-average IQ, and engage in a lot of social activity. At regular intervals, they were assessed neuroanatomically and neuropsychologically using magnetic resonance imaging. Using advanced statistical methods, the researchers were able to establish that academic education had a favourable influence on age-related brain deterioration.

Isabel Hotz, the initial author of the paper, employed unique automated methods to investigate so-called lacunes and white matter hyperintensities in her PhD thesis. On digital pictures, these degenerative processes appear as "black holes" and "white spots." The causes are unknown, but they might include minor, unrecognised brain infarcts, restricted blood flow, or the loss of neuronal connections or neurons. This can impede a person's cognitive abilities, especially if degeneration affects crucial brain areas.

According to the study, elderly individuals with an academic background exhibited a considerably smaller increase in these classic indications of brain deterioration over seven years. "Academics also process information quicker and more precisely, such as when matching letters and numbers in patterns. Overall, their mental processing skills deteriorated less," says Hotz.

Other study groups have demonstrated that education has a favourable influence on brain ageing, and these findings support those findings. Previous research has also suggested that mental processing speed is influenced by the brain's neural network integrity. Mental processing speed slows when these networks are harmed.

Even if there has yet to be shown a causal relationship between education and reduced natural brain deterioration, the following appears to be a strong possibility: "We believe that a high level of education leads to an increase in neural and cognitive networks over the course of a person's life, and that these networks accumulate reserves." Their brains are better equipped to adapt to any deficiencies that emerge as they become older, according to neuropsychologist Lutz Jancke. According to the neuropsychologist, it's also likely that brains that remain active well into old age are less prone to degenerative processes, but this would have to be confirmed in the course of the ongoing long-term study.

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