Timing of onset of cognitive decline: results from Whitehall II prospective cohort study
Can possibly be detected when people are in their 40s, so preventive efforts need to start much earlier
- By: Alison Tonks
These authors are exploring the well established association between ageing and cognitive decline. We already know that our cognitive powers get weaker with age. Most evidence, though, suggests the decline doesn’t really start until we reach about 60. These authors wanted to find out more precisely when cognitive decline begins.
This is an important research question. Populations all over the world are ageing and prevalence of dementia is soaring. We need to know much more about who gets dementia and why, so we can help prevent it as there is no cure. Researchers need to start studying people before cognitive decline begins, to get the clearest possible picture of the factors that increase risk, the factors that decrease risk, and the interventions likely to protect people. This study helps identify the age groups we should be studying.
The cross sectional analysis overestimated the impact of age on cognitive ability. In