Thursday, September 08, 2011

Are our assumptions about cognitive decline correct?

As usual, an excellent blog posting by Laurie Orlov in which she discusses research just published by Duke University that  questions our assumptions about the rate of cognitive decline in older people. 

The study followed 1049 older adults age aged 56-102 who, at the beginning of the study, showed no signs of dementia.  At the end of the study, two-thirds of the participants showed at most only “slow cognitive decline,” not the level of decline typically associated with requiring assistance or medical care. 

The generally accepted fact is that 50% of people aged 85+ suffer from Alzheimer's.

Maybe it is wishful thinking but could this factlet, that everybody quotes, be incorrect. It would not be the first time where a "well known fact" gains credibility because of the number of times that it is repeated - not because it is correct.

Let's hope so. Dick Stroud

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