If I had known this...

I'd have worked harder in high school!  Talk about your permanent record. From Time.

Your School Grades Affect Your Risk of Dementia
In a presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, scientists report that getting good grades in school is among the important factors that can protect against dementia later in life. 
Experts have known that people with so-called cognitive reserve, or the ability to compensate for the failing parts of the brain in degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, can help to slow down or stave off some symptoms of memory loss, confusion and disorientation. But it wasn’t clear when the buildup of these reserves should begin.

In a study involving 7,574 people who were at least 65 years old and followed for 21 years, Serhiy Dekhytar, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Karolinska Institute, and his colleagues found that the chance of developing dementia was strongly linked to how well the people in the study did in school during childhood. Those with grades in the lowest 20% showed the highest risk of developing dementia later on, an effect that remained strong even if the volunteers went on to attain more education and had intellectually demanding jobs. In other words, says Dekhytar, “Your early life baseline cognitive abilities play a role in later dementia risk, which we didn’t know before because we didn’t have data. Now we have the data that show there is a component of early cognitive abilities that seems to still [have an effect] 50 or 60 years later.”

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