Friday, September 18, 2015

Championing education (for the umpteenth time)

I've often ranted expounded here about the importance of education. (Growing up in an anti-intellectual family, town and country can have that effect on you.) So I was delighted when a recent episode of the Health Report on ABC Radio National detailed how education could prevent or slow the development of dementia. The wonderfully-named Professor Carol Brayne said:

'Many studies have shown that exposure to more education appears to reduce our risk of developing dementia in later life. And other research, including research that we've done in Cambridge and the UK, suggests that that is not necessarily a reduction of risk of, say, vascular changes in the brain but more compensation, more that in the presence of pathologies such as Alzheimer's type dementia underlying pathological changes, that we can compensate, our brains can handle some pathology and that education plays a role in that.'

Then the show's host, Dr Norman Swan said:

'So if a government decides a policy which reduces the education level of the population, you can expect in 50 years' time the dementia rates to go up again?'

and Professor Brayne replied:

'Well yes, that would be consistent with all of the evidence … many, many studies have found that education is associated with lower risk.'

Hah! I knew it ...

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