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:5/28/2016)... ... ... city where’s it’s easy to spot the neon lights of chains serving fast food, one ... a taste for real food. , On May 13, the Best Western Plus ... restaurant focusing on dishes made by hand with wholesome, organic ingredients that are sourced locally ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... Two director-level employees ... YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) 2016 honorees. The award recognizes businesswomen ... For this year, Geri Boone, Director of the MLTSS (Managed Long-Term Services and Supports) ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... With over ... to walk, the demand for a sustainable product to aid in the rehabilitation process ... aid in the recovery of individuals with hemiplegia due to stroke. , Ekso Bionics ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... to help educate the many who are unaware of the plight of aphasia. ... will run within the “Stroke Awareness” campaign. , The link between stroke and ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and employees in the health care ... leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It also provides insight to the ... University. , As the nursing industry is coming out of one of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 The innovator of ... , s first dual therapy stent, introduces catheters ... OrbusNeich, a global company specializing in the provision ... include products to treat peripheral artery disease. The JADE™ ... devices for lower limb and arteriovenous (AV) fistula intervention. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 ... ™ , la première endoprothèse à ... destinés à l,intervention portant sur les membres ... OrbusNeich, entreprise mondiale spécialisée dans ... changer la vie, a élargi son portefeuille ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Dutch surgeons have launched a ground-breaking medical app to help doctors ... a global scale. Medical professionals from Europe , ... the US have already signed up for the app, which combines ... environment. Education  "Imagine a doctor for Medicines ... at Harvard to treat a bomb victim via live streaming - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: