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Healthy cognitive ageing
Ian Deary
Scottish Mental Surveys
• Population-level IQ surveys in Scotland in
1932 and 1947
• Measured IQ of 11-year-olds born in 1...
The Scottish Mental Surveys’ ledgers
1932
1947
Following up the
Scottish Mental Surveys...studies of
cognitive ageing
Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 & 1936 are
tested eve...
Age 11 in 1932
Age 79 in 2000
…and 83 in 2004
…and 87 in 2008
…and 90 in 2011
…and 92 in 2013
Deary et al. (2004) Journal ...
Age… 70 in 2006
…and 73 in 2009
…and 76 in 2012
…and 79 in 2015Age 11 in 1947
Lothian Birth Cohort 1936
N = 1091
Deary et ...
People of the same age differ in
ageing of brains and thinking skills
Age 73 – differing extents of….
Brain volume White m...
Executive
function
Spatial
ability
Reasoning
Language,
Vocabulary
Memory
&
learning
Attention
Processing
speed
www.mrc.ac....
Salthouse (2004) Intelligence, 32, 541-561.
Episodic
memory
Salthouse (2004) Intelligence, 32, 541-561.
Reasoning
Salthouse (2004) Intelligence, 32, 541-561.
Perceptual
speed
Salthouse (2004) Intelligence, 32, 541-561.
Vocabulary
Change in
Observed
Activities
Change in
Everyday
Problem
Solving
Change in
Reasoning
Change
in
Speed
Change
in
Memory
Chan...
We don’t all follow the crowd
Underwood (2014) Science, 346, 568.
Healthy cognitive ageing
More cognitive decline
Age 11
MHT
Underwood (2014) Science, 346, 568.
Age70
MHT
General thinking skill
Good
cognition
in
older age
Good cognition
at age 11
r ≈ 0.7
Fate or providence (or chance)?
Deary et al. (2012) Nature, 482, 212-215.
Good
cognition
in
older age?What
else?
Good cognition
at age 11.
Healthy body, healthy mind
Better cognitive function in the 8th decade of life
is associated with:
• taking more exercise
...
Gow et al. (2012) Neurology, 79, 1802-1808.
Reverse causation, also known as
confounding
Good
cognition
in
older age?
Socio-
intellectual
activities
Good cognition
at age 11
Gow et al. (2012) Psychology and Agin...
Good
cognition
in
older age?
Socio-
intellectual
activities
Good cognition
at age 11
Gow et al. (2012) Psychology and Agin...
• Caffeine
• Alcohol
• Other dietary
intakes…
• Body mass index
• Cholesterol
• Engagement
• Not smoking
• Physical activi...
Marginal gains, not magic bullets
Cruising or racing?
Knowledge
Working out new stuff
Thanks
Lothian Birth Cohort 1936
LBC1936 Team
LBC1936 Collaborators
i.deary@ed.ac.uk
www.ccace.ed.ac.uk
www.lothianbirthcohort.ed.ac.uk
Healthy cognitive ageing
Healthy cognitive ageing
Healthy cognitive ageing
Healthy cognitive ageing
Healthy cognitive ageing
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Healthy cognitive ageing

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The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Ageing Symposium, 3rd February 2016.

"Managing ageing and cognitive impairment: challenges and opportunities for financial services"

Ian Deary,
Director of MRC Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology,
University of Edinburgh

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Healthy cognitive ageing

  1. 1. Healthy cognitive ageing Ian Deary
  2. 2. Scottish Mental Surveys • Population-level IQ surveys in Scotland in 1932 and 1947 • Measured IQ of 11-year-olds born in 1921 and 1936 in a consistent, replicable way • A baseline for longitudinal studies of cognitive ageing Scottish Mental Surveys http://www.ces.ed.ac.uk/SSER/about/surveys.html
  3. 3. The Scottish Mental Surveys’ ledgers 1932 1947
  4. 4. Following up the Scottish Mental Surveys...studies of cognitive ageing Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 & 1936 are tested every 3 years.
  5. 5. Age 11 in 1932 Age 79 in 2000 …and 83 in 2004 …and 87 in 2008 …and 90 in 2011 …and 92 in 2013 Deary et al. (2004) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 130-147. Deary et al. (2012) International Journal of Epidemiology, 41, 1576-1584. Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 N = 550
  6. 6. Age… 70 in 2006 …and 73 in 2009 …and 76 in 2012 …and 79 in 2015Age 11 in 1947 Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 N = 1091 Deary et al. (2007) BMC Geriatrics, 7, 28. Deary et al. (2012) International Journal of Epidemiology, 41, 1576-1584.
  7. 7. People of the same age differ in ageing of brains and thinking skills Age 73 – differing extents of…. Brain volume White matter lesions Henstridge et al. (2015) Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 3, 53.
  8. 8. Executive function Spatial ability Reasoning Language, Vocabulary Memory & learning Attention Processing speed www.mrc.ac.uk/documents/pdf/biomarkers-of-healthy-ageing Working memory
  9. 9. Salthouse (2004) Intelligence, 32, 541-561. Episodic memory
  10. 10. Salthouse (2004) Intelligence, 32, 541-561. Reasoning
  11. 11. Salthouse (2004) Intelligence, 32, 541-561. Perceptual speed
  12. 12. Salthouse (2004) Intelligence, 32, 541-561. Vocabulary
  13. 13. Change in Observed Activities Change in Everyday Problem Solving Change in Reasoning Change in Speed Change in Memory Change in Timed Activities .91 Tucker-Drob (2011) Neuropsychology, 25, 368-377
  14. 14. We don’t all follow the crowd Underwood (2014) Science, 346, 568.
  15. 15. Healthy cognitive ageing More cognitive decline Age 11 MHT Underwood (2014) Science, 346, 568. Age70 MHT
  16. 16. General thinking skill
  17. 17. Good cognition in older age Good cognition at age 11 r ≈ 0.7 Fate or providence (or chance)?
  18. 18. Deary et al. (2012) Nature, 482, 212-215.
  19. 19. Good cognition in older age?What else? Good cognition at age 11.
  20. 20. Healthy body, healthy mind Better cognitive function in the 8th decade of life is associated with: • taking more exercise • being physically fitter • lower allostatic load • less brain shrinkage • a better connected brain
  21. 21. Gow et al. (2012) Neurology, 79, 1802-1808.
  22. 22. Reverse causation, also known as confounding
  23. 23. Good cognition in older age? Socio- intellectual activities Good cognition at age 11 Gow et al. (2012) Psychology and Aging, 27, 250-255.
  24. 24. Good cognition in older age? Socio- intellectual activities Good cognition at age 11 Gow et al. (2012) Psychology and Aging, 27, 250-255.
  25. 25. • Caffeine • Alcohol • Other dietary intakes… • Body mass index • Cholesterol • Engagement • Not smoking • Physical activity • Physical fitness • Occupation • Education • Bilingualism • Low allostatic load • Connected brain
  26. 26. Marginal gains, not magic bullets
  27. 27. Cruising or racing? Knowledge Working out new stuff
  28. 28. Thanks Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 LBC1936 Team LBC1936 Collaborators
  29. 29. i.deary@ed.ac.uk www.ccace.ed.ac.uk www.lothianbirthcohort.ed.ac.uk

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