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:4/29/2017)... ... April 29, 2017 , ... Phytomer USA is pleased to introduce ... Account Manager, Smith’s role is to provide excellent customer service, support, training and ... Phytomer Group. Smith comes to Phytomer with a wealth of industry experience including roles ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... The National Campaign to ... the Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2017. The ... will help to ensure that all members of the Armed Forces receive high ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... , ... Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) announced today ... outlook as “stable.” At the same time, the ratings agency cautioned that the company’s ... below “capital adequacy” thresholds required for its strong rating. , “Horizon is committed to ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) ... The annual board election process has been in place since the RBMA was founded ... Dickerson, Ed.D., FACHE, succeeds Jim Hamilton, MHA, CMM, FRBMA, as president. Dr. Dickerson the ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 ... ... with cardiac or hERG liability could substantially improve drug safety and minimize the ... be provided for validating ion channel inhibition using cell lines and for cardiac ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017 The Mobile X-Ray product segment ... healthy CAGR during the forecast period Mobile X-Ray ... global digital mobile X-Ray devices market, which is estimated to ... expanding at a CAGR of 7% over the forecast period. ... of more than US$ 100 Mn in 2017 over 2016. ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... NASHVILLE , Tenn. and DALLAS , ... and EndoStim, Inc., announced that the first patients in ... with the EndoStim device in the Lower Esophageal Sphincter ... is a minimally-invasive implantable device designed to provide long-term ... through neurostimulation. GERD affects nearly 65 million ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017  New research provides evidence that an old ... to a study released today that will be presented at ... in Boston , April 22 to 28, ... of Parkinson,s disease, the oral drug levodopa has long been ... But as the disease progresses, the effects of the medication ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: