Cognitive Reserve in Aging
A. M. Tucker and Y. Stern
Affiliation: Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, P&S Box 16, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Keywords: Aging, Alzheimer's disease, brain reserve, cognitive reserve, neural reserve, neural compensation, traumatic brain injury, WRAT, fMRI data
Cognitive reserve explains why those with higher IQ, education, occupational attainment, or participation in leisure activities evidence less severe clinical or cognitive changes in the presence of age-related or Alzheimers disease pathology. Specifically, the cognitive reserve hypothesis is that individual differences in how tasks are processed provide reserve against brain pathology. Cognitive reserve may allow for more flexible strategy usage, an ability thought to be captured by executive functions tasks. Additionally, cognitive reserve allows individuals greater neural efficiency, greater neural capacity, and the ability for compensation via the recruitment of additional brain regions. Taking cognitive reserve into account may allow for earlier detection and better characterization of age-related cognitive changes and Alzheimers disease. Importantly, cognitive reserve is not fixed but continues to evolve across the lifespan. Thus, even late-stage interventions hold promise to boost cognitive reserve and thus reduce the prevalence of Alzheimers disease and other agerelated problems.
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