IQ and Alzheimers
February 18, 2005 2:31 AM   Subscribe

As Alzheimers progresses do a persons IQ drop? Does a formerly really bright person have a lower IQ and is that part of the reason they do not understand or follow complex thoughts? I am wondering about this with my husband who now finds a lot of things "boring" LAG
posted by lag to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
From a google search on alzheimers and IQ, there are plenty of links to show that this is indeed the case.
posted by mathowie at 8:11 AM on February 18, 2005

I'm not sure a loss of interest is necessarily evident of a lower IQ. I mean, to take the opposite stance, when a kid is really bored in class, sometimes the work isnt challenging grandmother died of alzheimers two summers ago at the age of 93, and over the time of her illness, i learned a lot about the syndrome. Basically, i think one of the best things you could do would be to rekindle an interest in scrabble or any other word/logic game that involves the mind. Learning new skills and keeping the mind active are suppossed to be some of the best preventative actions for alzheimers.
posted by Kifer85 at 8:48 AM on February 18, 2005

Kifer85, the boring part was about the question asker's spouse, not alzheimers. Alzheimers actually produces plaque buildup on parts of your brain, inhibiting your mental state, and yes, lowering your IQ.
posted by mathowie at 9:39 AM on February 18, 2005

But I don't think it is fair to say that the "lower IQ" is the reason people with Alzheimer's don't understand complex thoughts. IQ is a made-up arbitrary measure based on standardized tests.

So the opposite is actually true; performance on IQ tests would drop because the patient doesn't understand complex thoughts.
posted by Justinian at 1:47 PM on February 18, 2005

IQ is a made-up arbitrary measure based on standardized tests.

Yes, but we neurologists use those same standardized tests to diagnose Alzheimer disease (pre-mortem, at least.)

Therefore, the answer's yes - by definition.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:51 AM on February 24, 2005

Since some of the IQ test is about remembering strings of numbers and strings of information...and alzheimer's affects the memory, I'm going for a big yes here.
posted by filmgeek at 7:10 PM on February 26, 2005

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