October 15, 2018 – Early Evidence


Anchor lead: Can we tell even in teenagers who may be at risk for dementia? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Project Talent may be one of the biggest studies you’ve never heard of, testing teenagers in the 1960s and now looking at their rates of dementia. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, wonders at the outcome.

Lyketsos: So does that get you to think at all about how the brains of men and women differ? I think that’s reflecting resilience, that’s reflecting reserve. The more of their gender unique reserve that men have the better off they are versus other men, and the corollary is relevant to women.  :16

Lyketsos notes that men with lower mechanical ability and women with lower linguistic ability were more at risk.

Lyketsos: Can we improve reserve? Can we improve resilience? By training in areas that we think are preventative? And on one level we do that all the time without realizing it, is that we’ve advanced the education level of our population and that’s building reserve. And education is inversely related to the development of dementia. :19

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.