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Neurology. 2000 Nov 28;55(10):1455-9.

Childhood mental ability and dementia.

Author information

  • 1Aberdeen University, Department of Mental Health, Scotland. l.j.whalley@abdn.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine links between childhood mental ability and dementia using data from a 1932 survey of the mental ability of the 1921 Scottish birth cohort.

METHOD:

Patients with dementia from the 1921 Scottish birth cohort were located in 1) a national survey of early-onset dementia (1974-1988), 2) local mental health services, and 3) a survey of 264 of 519 surviving Aberdeen residents who took the 1932 test. Control subjects were identified in the 1932 Scottish Mental Survey.

RESULTS:

Mean 1932 ability score for the Scottish 1921 cohort did not differ from early-onset dementia. Early-onset dementia was not associated with lower childhood mental ability when compared with matched control subjects. In Aberdeen, mental ability scores were significantly lower in children who eventually developed late-onset dementia when compared with other Aberdeen children tested in 1932. This difference was also detected between cases and tested subjects (controls) alive in 1994.

CONCLUSIONS:

Late-onset dementia is associated with lower mental ability scores in childhood. Early-onset dementia mental ability scores did not differ from locally matched control subjects or from late-onset dementia. Mechanisms that account for the link between lower mental ability and late-onset dementia are probably not relevant to early-onset dementia.

Comment in

PMID:
11094097
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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