Navigation Links
'Cognitive Reserve' May Help Fight Alzheimer's
Date:11/11/2008

Study sees less damage from brain plaques in those with more education

TUESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A study using an advanced brain scanning technology supports the growing body of evidence that education levels and some form of intellectual activity decrease the impact of Alzheimer's disease.

People with a greater "cognitive reserve" suffer less damage from the beta-amyloid plaques in the brain that are a leading marker of Alzheimer's disease, according to the study in the November issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Cognitive reserve is the concept that "the way that some people process information, the brain networks they use, allows them to cope better," said study author Catherine M. Roe, a research instructor in neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.

The study used education levels as a yardstick of cognitive reserve, a customary practice in Alzheimer's studies, Roe said.

The researchers employed positron emission tomography (PET) scans to study the brains of 37 people with Alzheimer's-type dementia and 161 people with no dementia. All were injected with a radio-carbon-labeled compound that attaches itself to amyloid plaques, allowing the researchers to determine the size of those plaques in the brains of the participants. All the participants also took tests to measure their thinking ability.

"We divided the individuals into two groups, those with high uptake of the compound, indicating more plaques in the brain and those with low uptake, indicating few or no plaques," Roe said. "For people with low uptake, there was no relation to education in their cognitive scores. For high uptake, meaning significant plaques in the brain, we found an association with education. The more education they had, the fewer the symptoms of dementia."

So having a greater cognitive reserve, as measured by educational level, "may help you cope with that [Alzheimer's] pathology without having dementia symptoms," Roe said.

It's hard to say whether people can do anything to increase their cognitive reserve, said Yaakov Stern, professor of clinical neuropsychology at the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease at Columbia University and an originator of the cognitive reserve hypothesis.

Stern has taken part in several studies similar to the one now being reported, measuring blood flow to various parts of the brain as an indicator of Alzheimer's pathology. Those studies also showed that people with greater cognitive reserve "are walking around with more pathology than they exhibit," he said.

Whether people can consciously increase their cognitive reserve "is the big question," Stern said. "I am more and more convinced from studies like this that there are aspects of life experience that allow people to cope with Alzheimer's pathology better."

Any activities in particular? "We really don't know the recipe of what activity and how much would work," Stern said. "We really need controlled studies."

But, as a general rule, he said, "It doesn't hurt to remain active, physically as well as mentally. It's just that there are no studies to show that these activities really make a difference."

More information

To learn more about Alzheimer's disease, visit the U.S. National Institute on Aging.



SOURCES: Catherine M. Roe, Ph.D., research instructor in neurology, Washington University, St. Louis; Yaakov Stern, Ph.D., professor of clinical neuropsychology at the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease, Columbia University, New York City; November 2008, Archives of Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Springer launches Cognitive Computation
2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Best for Traumatized Youths
3. Breast Cancer Drug Not Tied to Cognitive Decline: Study
4. Cognitive Score Changes Over Time May Hint at Dementia
5. Rates of Mild Cognitive Impairment Higher Than Expected
6. Coronary Disease Dulls Cognitive Skills
7. Family resources, parenting quality influence childrens early cognitive development
8. Closing coal-burning power plant in China and improved cognitive development in children
9. Alcoholism-associated molecular adaptations in brain neurocognitive circuits
10. Antihypertensive treatment on cognitive functions in Alzheimers disease
11. Study indicates grape seed extract may reduce cognitive decline associated with Alzheimers disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply ... health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can ... Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey ... cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A ... procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that ... but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 According to a new ... Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, ... Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global ... the market for the forecast period of 2016 to ... Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June ... MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June ... Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  ... Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  MedSource announced today that it has selected ... of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment ... clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture ... as the EDC platform of choice in exchange ... has long been a preferred EDC platform by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: