Does Culture and Lifestyle Affect Cognitive Reserve & Alzheimers

brainA long term study in a group of Aberdeen folk which has followed them since childhood is contributing towards further research into how the brain ages in people from different countries and cultural backgrounds.

In a collaboration between Aberdeen University and researchers in Mysore India brain scans will be compared from cohorts in 4 pilot studies.

Professor Alison Murray, Director of the University of Aberdeen Biomedical Imaging Centre, said

“This project has great potential to allow us to see how where you are born and live impacts on your brain health as you get older.”

The Indian scans will be compared to the Aberdeen cohort scans to compare and contrast how differences in culture, education, nutrition and other health variables can affect how the brain ages which could give clues as to what factors increase or decrease brain function and the risk of Alzheimer’s and other related illnesses.

Professor Alison Murray, said:

“Comparing two cohorts from two different continents will give us an excellent opportunity to see how the, sometimes quite radical, differences in lifestyle, nutrition, education and occupation among many other factors can affect ‘cognitive reserve’ which protects your brain against decline.”

“It will be particularly interesting to see if the fact that those in the Indian cohort can speak at least three languages helps to keep their brain in good shape as they age.”

The researchers were awarded a £200,000 grant from the Medical Research Council.

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