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New study finds that teens who scored low on a 1960 test have higher risk of dementia

Sep 23, 2018 by

A test given to students in 1960 could predict whether they develop dementia 440,000 students were given the test, called Project Talent, as high schoolers Researchers found that those who scored low on the test had higher risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia in their 60s and early 70s Rock stars Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison took the test as high school students

A test given to hundreds of thousands of students, including rock stars Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, nearly 60 years ago could hold the answers to whether a person will develop dementia.

Researchers at the Washington-based American Institutes for Research, which administered the test to some 440,000 high school students across the US in 1960, have been studying the teen’s answers and believe they have found a link to student’s who scored low on the test and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Washington Post, researchers compared results for more than 85,000 testers with their 2012/2013 Medicare claims and expenditures and found that warning signs of memory loss may present itself as early as adolescence.

The study, published on September 7, looked at how students scored on 17 areas of cognitive ability such as clerical skills, language, math, abstract reasoning and visual and spatial prowess. Researchers say that those teenagers who scored lower on the test are more prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in their 60s and early 70s.

Researchers believe a test given to students in 1960 can tell whether they will develop Alzheimer's disease. Students in a class are seen taking the test, called Project Talent 

Researchers believe a test given to students in 1960 can tell whether they will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Students in a class are seen taking the test, called Project Talent

Engineer John McMillan works on the first machine built to process full paper sheets, instead of punch cards, to collect data from the Project Talent pool

Engineer John McMillan works on the first machine built to process full paper sheets, instead of punch cards, to collect data from the Project Talent pool

The study found specifically that those who scored low on mechanical reasoning and memory for words had a higher risk of dementia later in life. Researchers found that low-scoring men were 17 per cent more likely to get dementia, while low-scoring women were 16 per cent more likely.

The test, called Project Talent, was administered to high school kids from 1,353 public and parochial schools across the country. It was funded by the US government.

The teens had to answer questions about academics and general knowledge as well as health, their home lives, personality traits and their aspirations.

According to the Post, one question quizzed students about the biblical figure Samson. Another asked students what two colors mixed together make chartreuse, while a third question asked students what a camper should do if he sees a garter snake.

Source: New study finds that teens who scored low on a 1960 test have higher risk of dementia | Daily Mail Online

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