Does education level determine the course of cognitive decline?

Many studies have implicated low education as a risk factor for cognitive impairment in elderly people. Findings are, however, inconsistent and the mechanism by which education level may intervene in senescent cognitive change is uncertain. The present study examines cognitive change over a 1-year period in 283 elderly persons manifesting recent subclinical deterioration in at least one area of cognitive functioning. The results suggest that the impact of both education level and young adult IQ on the degree of cognitive change over the year is greater in the older age groups. Secondary memory and language functions were found to be more resistant to decline in the high-education group, while attention, implicit memory and visuospatial skills are found to decline irrespective of education level.

  • Leibovici D
  • Ritchie K
  • Ledesert B
  • Touchon J


  • Age Ageing