Educational attainment and rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression and hypotheses of the cognitive reserve theory were investigated by testing for a relation between educational attainment and rate of decline in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, possible AD, probable AD, and other progressive neurodegenerative dementias. Patient data (n = 726) were acquired from a clinical database at the Minneapolis VAMC GRECC Memory Loss Clinic. Analyses using mixed effect regression models found education was significantly related to an accelerated rate of decline in global cognition (MMSE: -0.022, SE = 0.007, p = .003) and a steeper linear rate of decline in functional ability (Cognitive Performance Test: -0.034, SE = 0.011, p = .005). Cox proportional hazard models found little evidence to support an association between educational attainment and relative mortality risk. These results are consistent with previous findings and predictions of the cognitive reserve theory.
Hemmy, Laura Sue (2006). Educational attainment and rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from