Childhood mental ability and dementia

L J Whalley, John Starr, R Athawes, D Hunter, A Pattie, I J Deary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1455-1459
Number of pages5
JournalNeurology
Volume55
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2000

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • PRESENILE ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE
  • APOLIPOPROTEIN-E
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • SCOTLAND 1974-88
  • COGNITIVE STATE
  • LATE-LIFE
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • EDUCATION
  • EPIDEMIOLOGY
  • RELATIVES

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