University of São Paulo: Stimulating intellectual activity may confer Alzheimer’s protection and prevention

Schooling is directly related to the protection of human cognitive function. Research carried out by the Laboratory of Pathophysiology in Aging (Gerolab), of the Faculty of Medicine, published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, observed 1,023 individuals with different levels of education and also analyzed whether there was a relationship between professional occupation and cognition. Claudia Kimie Suemoto, professor of the Geriatrics discipline at the Department of Internal Medicine at the USP School of Medicine, explains some points of the study to Jornal da USP in Ar 1st Edition .

“We call this issue cognitive reserve and this is evaluated based on how much the person studied and how complex the occupational activity they perform during adulthood,” explains Claudia, who recalls the pioneering spirit of the USP study in Brazil. in relating the effects of schooling and occupation to human cognitive development. It is one of the few studies that researched the topic in developing countries, since, according to Claudia, most of the research in this area comes from the United States and Europe, where the realities of schooling and occupation are very different. “The average education in this study is only four years, while in southern Europe it is not uncommon to find an average of 16 years”, he highlights.

The study, therefore, endeavored to answer the question of whether it was possible to “bring some protection to the brain against injuries associated with dementia”, given the Brazilian reality of a lower average level of education and less complex occupations. Claudia points out that the more education, the greater the protection given to cognitive functions. “We didn’t see any benefit from the complex occupational activity during adult life”, he reveals.

Education and Public Policy
For Claudia, investing in and promoting public policies in education in the early years is essential to protect cognitive activities, such as language, reasoning skills, executive function, among others, in addition to preventing cognitive damage throughout life. “Increasingly, we have evidence that schooling improves a series of factors that prevent diseases in the future”, emphasizes Claudia.

In addition to education, Claudia explains that any stimulating intellectual activity further develops cognitive reserve, such as reading, playing an instrument or even physical activity. “The greater your cognitive reserve, the more injuries you can face,” he explains.

Comments are closed.