Alzheimer's linked to career choices
August 09, 2004

CLEVELAND, Aug 09, 2004 (United Press International) -- U.S. researchers have found a link between the mental demands of an occupation and later development of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University said people with Alzheimer's are more likely to have had less-mentally-stimulating careers than their peers who do not have Alzheimer's.

The team studied 122 people with Alzheimer's and 235 people without the disease, all of whom were more than 60 years old. They gathered information about their occupational history over 40 years, from ages 20 through 60.

The most intriguing finding was the mental demands of occupations during a person's 20s did not appear linked to later development of Alzheimer's, but starting in their 30s, those people who did not develop Alzheimer's were found to have jobs that were more mentally stimulating than those who did develop Alzheimer's later in life.

That difference in occupational experiences in the two groups persisted during their 40s and 50s, the researchers said.