XML Feed for RxPG News   Add RxPG News Headlines to My Yahoo!   Javascript Syndication for RxPG News

Research Health World General
 Latest Research
 Infectious Diseases
 Respiratory Medicine
 Public Health
 Clinical Trials
 Medical News
 Awards & Prizes
 Special Topics
 Odd Medical News
 World News

Last Updated: Aug 19th, 2006 - 22:18:38

Dementia Channel
subscribe to Dementia newsletter

Latest Research : Aging : Dementia

   DISCUSS   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT
"Complex work" protects against dementia
Sep 9, 2005, 16:15, Reviewed by: Dr.

"Occupations with high mental demands may provide a form of 'mental exercise' that supports brain function into older adulthood"

Publishing in the September issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, University of South Florida School of Aging Studies researcher Ross Andel and James Mortimer, professor, USF College of Public Health, examined the relationship between complexity of main lifetime occupation and risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia in general. He and co-researchers discovered that people engaging in "complex work" had a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

"Occupations with high mental demands may provide a form of 'mental exercise' that supports brain function into older adulthood," said Andel.

Recent research has focused on lifestyle issues, such as smoking, drinking, exercise and leisure activities and the roles they may play in the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Occupation as an intellectual stimulus, said Andel, is yet another factor that needs consideration, particularly given the amount of time people spend at work. While occupational classification has been a previously studied variable, and occupations with low social status have been found to be a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's disease, occupational complexity as a source of intellectual stimulation has not been looked at sufficiently.

Andel and his co-researchers studied risk of dementia in cases and controls and in complete twin pairs using data from a Swedish Twin Registry, through which sets of twins were followed for more than 40 years and whose main occupations were recently recorded. Within the twin pairs, one twin was diagnosed with dementia and the co-twin was dementia-free. The sample included 10,079 members of a subset of the Swedish Twin Registry called the Study of Dementia in Swedish Twins (HARMONY), a study led by Margaret Gatz from the University of Southern California.

The authors found that those who performed complex work with data or people had lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

"Those performing complex work with people, such as speaking to, instructing or negotiating with people, appeared particularly protected in this sample," Andel said.

Results were adjusted for gender, level of education and, in case-control analyses, for age.

"Our results suggest that intellectually demanding activity at work may facilitate brain health in old age," concluded Andel. "However, further research is needed to understand why complex work appears to offer a buffer against dementia and whether occupational complexity is protective independent of occupational status."

- September issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences


Subscribe to Dementia Newsletter
E-mail Address:


Related Dementia News

Occupational therapy improves quality of life for dementia patients
Hope remains for Alzheimer's sufferers
Cognitive Decline is Often Undetected - Study
CATIE Study: Antipsychotics in Alzheimer's No Better Than Placebo
Mediterranean diet associated with a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may slow cognitive decline
Microscopic brain damage detected in early Alzheimer's disease
Novel technique can identify early cellular damage in Alzheimer's disease
Cathepsin B - Part of protective mechanism against Alzheimer's
Boosting ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (Uch-L1) restores lost memory

For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page


© Copyright 2004 onwards by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited
Contact Us