Published Online: October 22, 2013
Published in Print: October 23, 2013, as Teachers and Aging

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Teachers and Aging

"Occupational Differences Between Alzheimer's and Aphasic Dementias: Implication for Teachers"

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As if there weren't already enough hazards to entering the teaching profession, a new study by the Mayo Clinic, in Scottsdale, Ariz., finds educators at greater risk of losing the ability to communicate as they age.

A team led by Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. Keith Josephs found that teachers were disproportionately represented among patients with degenerative speech and language disorders—but not among patients with Alzheimer's disease. Patterns among the group of about 500 total patients were consistent with larger trends in 2008 census data.

Those speech-and-language disorders—in which patients forget which words to use or try to speak around them—are progressive and typically lead to death eight to 10 years after diagnosis, the study found.

Vol. 33, Issue 09, Page 5

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