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BMJ:大脑衰老或从45岁开始

2012/01/08 来源:新华网
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导读
人们通常认为,大脑认知功能的退化是在五六十岁年老时才会发生的事情。但英国一项最新研究显示,大脑的衰老可能从45岁就已开始,这个年龄通常被算作中年时期。

人们通常认为,大脑认知功能的退化是在五六十岁年老时才会发生的事情。但英国一项最新研究显示,大脑的衰老可能从45岁就已开始,这个年龄通常被算作中年时期。

英国伦敦大学学院等机构研究人员在新一期《英国医学杂志》上报告说,他们对7000多名英国公务员进行了长达十年的跟踪调查。在1997年到1999年间研究开始的时候,受试者年龄在45岁到70岁之间。在研究开始和结束的时候,受试者都接受了认知能力测试,对比结果显示,受试者的大脑功能普遍出现了下降。

令人意外的是,即便是在45岁到49岁年龄组,大脑功能也出现了下降,比如在推理功能这一项中,男性和女性都平均下降了3.6%。而年纪越大的人大脑衰老速度越快。在65岁到70岁这个年龄组,男性的推理功能在十年间下降了9.6%,女性稍好一些,也下降了7.4%。

这些结果说明,大脑衰老的时间比人们通常认为的要早,可能从中年时期就已经开始。研究人员说,如果希望延缓衰老,避免患老年痴呆等因大脑功能退化而出现的疾病,保持健康的生活方式非常重要,如尽量不吸烟和加强锻炼等。


Timing of onset of cognitive decline: results from Whitehall II prospective cohort study

Archana Singh-Manoux, research director, Mika Kivimaki, professor of social epidemiology, M Maria Glymour, assistant professor, Alexis Elbaz, research director, Claudine Berr, research director, Klaus P Ebmeier, professor of old age psychiatry, Jane E Ferrie, senior research fellow, Aline Dugravot, statistician

Objectives To estimate 10 year decline in cognitive function from longitudinal data in a middle aged cohort and to examine whether age cohorts can be compared with cross sectional data to infer the effect of age on cognitive decline.

Design Prospective cohort study. At study inception in 1985-8, there were 10 308 participants, representing a recruitment rate of 73%.

Setting Civil service departments in London, United Kingdom.

Participants 5198 men and 2192 women, aged 45-70 at the beginning of cognitive testing in 1997-9.

Main outcome measure Tests of memory, reasoning, vocabulary, and phonemic and semantic fluency, assessed three times over 10 years.

Results All cognitive scores, except vocabulary, declined in all five age categories (age 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, and 65-70 at baseline), with evidence of faster decline in older people. In men, the 10 year decline, shown as change/range of test×100, in reasoning was −3.6% (95% confidence interval −4.1% to −3.0%) in those aged 45-49 at baseline and −9.6% (−10.6% to −8.6%) in those aged 65-70. In women, the corresponding decline was −3.6% (−4.6% to −2.7%) and −7.4% (−9.1% to −5.7%). Comparisons of longitudinal and cross sectional effects of age suggest that the latter overestimate decline in women because of cohort differences in education. For example, in women aged 45-49 the longitudinal analysis showed reasoning to have declined by −3.6% (−4.5% to −2.8%) but the cross sectional effects suggested a decline of −11.4% (−14.0% to −8.9%).

Conclusions Cognitive decline is already evident in middle age (age 45-49).

文献链接:http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.d7622

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