07/26/2010 03:20 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Education Lessens Dementia's Effects: Study

Scientists from the United Kingdom and Finland have discovered that a history of higher education both lowers the risk for and tempers the effects of dementia.

BBC News reports:

The researchers in this study examined the brains of 872 people who had been part of three large ageing studies. Before their deaths they had also completed questionnaires about their education. The researchers found that more education makes people better able to cope with changes in the brain associated with dementia.

According to ABC News, just one year of higher education decreases the chance of developing the disease by 11 percent. One of the scientists running the study, Hanna Keage of Cambridge University, claims that this may be because those who are more educated have more psychological strength, a condition necessary to combat dementia.

A recent study out of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System found that the brains of dementia and Alzheimer's sufferers could be preserved by small doses of inhaled insulin. When patients were given insulin, they were more able to balance checkbooks and dress themselves.