Higher Education Are Associated with a Decreased Risk of Dementia

High angle view of video conference with teacher on laptop at home. College student learning maths while watching online webinar, listening audio course. Top view of girl in video call with personal tutor on computer, distance and e-learning education concept.Education gives people an edge in their later years, helping them to keep dementia at bay and their memories intact. New research published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics adds to the mounting evidence that suggests a higher education is associated with a decreased risk of dementia.

The study used scores determined by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), a screening test for dementia to help researchers examine the associations between education and late-life cognitive impairment.


For the study, data was provided by 18 international studies of aging from Australia, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These are all countries that are members of the Cohort Studies of Memory in an International Consortium (COSMIC) led by CHeBA.

Study Coordinator of COSMIC, Dr. Darren Lipnicki, said that “Compared to men, women showed a stronger association between middle school completion and reduced risk of cognitive impairment.”

“Asian people showed stronger associations between having completed high school and a lower risk of cognitive impairment when compared to white people,” he added.

The study concluded that among people with a variant of the APOE gene, which is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, only high school completion was associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline. It was noted, however, that the effect of the APOE gene variant showed different results among Asian, Black, and White populations.

Education Can Protect the Brain


This study adds to the mounting evidence that suggests education can help to reduce the risk of cognitive impairment. Experts believe that learning can be protective for the brain. To help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment globally, all populations should aim to get at least a middle school education.

Co-Director of CHeBA and senior author Professor Perminder Sachdev said, “It would be a wise investment for our future generations.”

Previous studies have shown how learning something new, even later in life, can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. The key is keeping the brain active and engaged. Research has shown that seniors who learn a new language, a new skill, or even those who play word games have reduced their risk of cognitive decline.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.