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In 1947, all 11-year-old Scottish children had IQ testing. About 60 years later, Edinburgh researchers were curious about what had become of these children, so they tracked them down.
 
They found those 11-year-old children who were of above-average intelligence were less likely to develop dementia by age 70.

Other findings were equally intriguing.
  • Antioxidants -- We've all heard that taking antioxidants protects from dementia. Those people with a higher IQ were more likely to take antioxidants. So it was the power of a high IQ and not antioxidants that protected against dementia. B vitamins also did not protect against memory loss.
  • Alcohol --  Similarly, those with higher intelligence were more likely to drink more alcohol. As was the case with antioxidants, having a higher IQ rather than having a glass of wine protected people from dementia.
  • Caffeinated drinks -- Ground coffee and espresso, and not tea, were found to stop memory decline.
  • Social activities -- When adjusted for the effect of intelligence, social activities had little effect on the development of memory problems.
  • Higher education -- Those with higher IQs are more likely to pursue higher education. Again, it's not higher education that protects against dementia, it's intelligence.
  • Physical activity -- Exercise improves cognition, which is a finding reflected in other studies.
  • The bottom line -- While you can't control your IQ, do what you can to reduce your risk of dementia by exercising regularly and drinking an espresso a day.

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