Opinions
Courtney Haigler/the Gauntlet

Decreasing dementia, one furious child at a time

Publication YearIssue Date 

Although it may seem that university and education in general could drive one to the edge of dementia and push them into its festering waves, recent studies have shown that further education might have the exact opposite effect.

Cambridge University researcher Dr. David Llewellyn found that raising the school leaving age to 15 over the past 50 years in Britain has somewhat reduced dementia rates in the elderly, according to the BBC. The study into the matter, which Llewellyn is leading, found that changes to the school leaving age could lead to improvements in cognitive abilities and hence lower dementia rates.

In 1918, full-time education was made compulsory for children from five to 14. Then, in 1947, this was raised to 15-years-old. Finally in 1972, it went up to 16. Now it is projected that in 2015 teenagers will have to stay in school until they are 18.

Although this seems like a death sentence to all the kids just attending school until they're old enough to drop out, they should instead be rejoicing. In their later years, instead of getting old and crazy with bad tattoos and sagging ears, they will be having intellectual conversations about current affairs over their daily bran intake. The youth of today are the elderly of tomorrow and even though crazy old people are entertaining to talk to sometimes on the bus, the elderly themselves probably don't enjoy their dementia.

Enforced education sounds like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Contrary to the opinion popular amongst school-aged children, experiencing education is an amazing thing. The prospects of learning something new that one can teach to others and further common knowledge with is amazing. Instead of sitting at a shitty full-time job in a mall while your friends are in school, you could be making sweet jokes and doodles in the class with them. Also, if your science teacher is as cool as mine was in high school, you'll be taught how to make methamphetamine (for scientific purposes only, obviously), explosives and catapults.

Even though this study is in only the beginning stages, its simple findings still enforce something that should be common knowledge: if you exercise something enough over time, it will stay fit and in proper shape. Doing math problems for fun is not nerdy and weird; it's your brain pumping iron. Why grow your muscles or your 'spiritual' experiences to further lengths when you can exercise cognitive functioning for a brighter tomorrow? Besides, nerdy is the new thing; every girl loves a nerdy, cute dude.

So when you see one of those suckers who was born in 1918 and now suffers from serious dementia, revel in the fact that you're going to be a sharp-witted old dude who can still school his great grandkids at chess, math problems and general logic stuff. Your teeth may have been taken by old age, but your wit will make up for more than your gummy appearance.

Tags: 

Section: 

Issue: