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Taxi drivers could help to detect dementia

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Previous studies suggest the hippocampus, part of the brain that helps learning and memory, is bigger in cabbies but shrinks in patients who have the disease. Professor Hugo Spiers, of University College London, said: “What we’re hoping to understand better is the potential impact of certain lifestyles, in this case navigating every day for most of your adult life using your own memory.”

Black cab drivers in the capital have to complete the very demanding Knowledge test, memorising the names of streets on set routes.

Mike Lewis, 64, of Chingford, Essex, said: “You just have to keep doing it until you’re word perfect and everything is just automatic.”

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