Associations between education and brain structure at age 73 years, adjusted for age 11 IQ.
|Title||Associations between education and brain structure at age 73 years, adjusted for age 11 IQ.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Cox SR, Dickie DAlexander, Ritchie SJ, Karama S, Pattie A, Royle NA, Corley J, Aribisala BS, Hernández MValdés, Maniega SMuñoz, Starr JM, Bastin ME, Evans AC, Wardlaw JM, Deary IJ|
|Date Published||2016 Oct 25|
OBJECTIVE: To investigate how associations between education and brain structure in older age were affected by adjusting for IQ measured at age 11.METHODS: We analyzed years of full-time education and measures from an MRI brain scan at age 73 in 617 community-dwelling adults born in 1936. In addition to average and vertex-wise cortical thickness, we measured total brain atrophy and white matter tract fractional anisotropy. Associations between brain structure and education were tested, covarying for sex and vascular health; a second model also covaried for age 11 IQ.RESULTS: The significant relationship between education and average cortical thickness (β = 0.124, p = 0.004) was reduced by 23% when age 11 IQ was included (β = 0.096, p = 0.041). Initial associations between longer education and greater vertex-wise cortical thickness were significant in bilateral temporal, medial-frontal, parietal, sensory, and motor cortices. Accounting for childhood intelligence reduced the number of significant vertices by >90%; only bilateral anterior temporal associations remained. Neither education nor age 11 IQ was significantly associated with total brain atrophy or tract-averaged fractional anisotropy.CONCLUSIONS: The association between years of education and brain structure ≈60 years later was restricted to cortical thickness in this sample; however, the previously reported associations between longer education and a thicker cortex are likely to be overestimates in terms of both magnitude and distribution. This finding has implications for understanding, and possibly ameliorating, life-course brain health.
|PubMed Central ID||PMC5089529|
|Grant List||G1001245 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom |
MR/K026992/1 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MR/M013111/1 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom