PET study links Alzheimer's disease to lack of cognitive activity

07/9/2009 | TIME (subscription required)

A PET study of nuns who had high linguistic scores as young women revealed that 21% of them had physical signs of dementia, such as lesions and plaques, but did not show outward symptoms of cognitive impairment. The finding suggests that people with sophisticated linguistic skills at a young age might be protected from dementia in old age. The researchers next plan to investigate the workings of a gene called APOE2, which is found in 30% of patients with asymptomatic Alzheimer's disease.

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