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Medicine Science

Researchers Find 70-Year-Olds Are Getting Smarter 115

Pickens writes "AlphaGalileo reports that researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden have found in a forty-year study of 2,000 seniors that today's 70-year-olds do far better in intelligence tests than their predecessors, making it more difficult to detect dementia in its early stages. 'Using the test results, we've tried to identify people who are at risk of developing dementia,' says Dr. Simona Sacuiu. 'While this worked well for the group of 70-year-olds born in 1901-02, the same tests didn't offer any clues about who will develop dementia in the later generation of 70-year-olds born in 1930.' The 70-year-olds born in 1930 and examined in 2000 performed better in the intelligence tests than their predecessors born in 1901-02 and examined in 1971. 'The improvement can partly be explained by better pre- and neonatal care, better nutrition, higher quality of education, better treatment of high blood pressure and other vascular diseases, and not least the higher intellectual requirements of today's society, where access to advanced technology, television and the Internet has become part of everyday life,' says Sacuiu."
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Researchers Find 70-Year-Olds Are Getting Smarter

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  • Your logic is flawed.

    Concern for caregivers/families != lack of concern for the patients.

  • by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:14AM (#34002276)

    If you are locked up in a room, detached from communication with the outside world and people look at you as a piece of furniture, you expire faster.

    Besides, same is true of all animals, not only 70 year old homo sapiens. Me and my neighbour got our dogs from the same litter almost 19 years ago.

    He left his dog more or less on its own. It was a happy and long living pup, but died demented at an age of 15 and a half.

    My dog (blame the SO as much as me) has had extensive health care -- supplements, regular checkups, and uses a DIY robo-wheel-chair for walks now, because the hind legs cannot support the weight anymore. It is still alive (almost 19 years old) and alert, although completely deaf and almost blind from the cataract.

    So, yeah, medical care, attention and stimulation work.

    What else is new?

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:20AM (#34002294)

    Maybe it's because today's 70-year-olds are more educated than their predecessors were. If we look at what time frames today's seniors verses yester-decade's seniors grew up in we'll find more of the older generation came from times when child labor was more common, education depreciated for the common man, and agriculture families were more common. Fewer kids stayed in school beyond what was required by law (if there were requirements in their state) so they were on average less educated.

  • stupidity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dirty_ghost ( 1673990 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:35AM (#34002318)
    knowledge != intelligence
  • Re:Stimulation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cappp ( 1822388 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:52AM (#34002396)
    I read a great article [] a couple years back about seniors moving into retirement communities close to university campuses and since then I've known how I want to retire. It makes perfect sense too - universities get another source of income and a really interesting new dynamic in class and on campus, and the older folks benefit from the non-stop hum of activity a university represents and the huge range of services they provide. I know when I was a student there were multiple university-sponsored events occuring every day, pretty much every hour too, and that's excluding the toga-parties et al. If the elderly are looking to keep their minds active it just seems a really good idea.
  • I told you... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by feepness ( 543479 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:23AM (#34002474) Homepage
    ...we should have voted for McCain!
  • by sqldr ( 838964 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:54AM (#34002592)
    Dementia doesn't get anywhere near the funding it should. There's all these cancer charities - mostly focused on breast cancer whereas nobody appears to care about brain cancer or lung cancer (you don't just get it by smoking), while demetia sufferers need far more support, cost far more time and money to treat, and frankly I'd take prostate cancer over altzheimers any day. At least on my death bed I'll be able to remember who my sister is.
  • Re:I told you... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @08:10AM (#34003050) Homepage

    John McCain's problem wasn't his age: His problem was that he openly embraced the crazy side of his party (with Sarah Palin as just the tip of that iceberg).

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @08:31AM (#34003170)
    ... basically, they're getting better at doing IQ tests, as they're more used to solving that sort of problem.
  • by smallfries ( 601545 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @09:03AM (#34003358) Homepage

    So which is better:

    Patient A: 9 years dementia free, 1 year of dementia, death.
    Patient B: 1 year dementia free, 9 years of dementia, death.

    Or did you genuinely not understand the point being made?

  • by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @09:34AM (#34003492)
    Erm... the point of funding research if to find solutions not.... I dunno what ever you thought it was for. Breast cancer deserves more research funding because it is has already been decently solved? Something like 90% of women survive it. Lets shift our focus to something that is "costing far more time and money to aid"... the point of research is to CHANGE that.
  • by xs650 ( 741277 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @11:42AM (#34004338)
    Or put another way...

    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the
    intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
    preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
    chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body
    thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming
    "WOO HOO what a ride!"

  • by Your.Master ( 1088569 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @03:24PM (#34005702)

    No, the GP was right. You're missing that we specifically don't want to kill the Alzheimer's patients. Because we have concern for them.

    Just because you want them to not be a great burden if you can help it doesn't mean you'll do anything to eliminate any burden.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus