Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Use It or Lose It

No, not that -- we're talking about brains!

Guy Potter in Duke's psychiatry department has pulled yet another gem from the massive, longterm Duke Twins Study: people who do mentally challenging work retained improved memory and thinking skills well into retirement, when compared with folks who weren't necessarily paid to think.

The study cohort is a gold mine because it includes IQ tests these twins took upon entering the military for World War II. Being higher IQ early in life isn't a guarantee you'll be sharp in your 80s; and using your noodle throughout your career can turn a lackluster IQ into a pretty quick septugenarian. See Melissa Schwarting's release.

(Photo by Gaetan Lee)