Mental Skills Can Decline Years Before Dying

"And this study," Goodwin added, "illustrates very clearly that there is a certain period before death from so-called natural causes where mental function declines at an accelerating pace. And while most investigators had thought that this kind of decline begins between three to five years before death, this study shows that it, in fact, can be traced back to a starting point that is a lot earlier than previously thought."

More information

For additional information on screening for age-related cognitive decline, visit the American Psychological Association.

SOURCES: Valgeir Thorvaldsson, department of psychology, Goteborg University, Goteborg, Sweden; James S. Goodwin, M.D., professor, geriatrics, and director, Sealy Center of Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; Aug. 27, 2008, Neurology, online

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