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Brain reserve and the prevention of dementia.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW

To evaluate and synthesize recent evidence linking mental activity and dementia risk, which commonly invokes 'brain reserve' as the mediating construct.

RECENT FINDINGS

Brain reserve has acquired several interpretations; however, the most reliable and practical definition focuses at the behavioural level by assessing frequency and range of participation in complex mental activities. Epidemiological research suggests a clear and consistent link of high brain reserve with reduced dementia risk. Furthermore, emerging clinical trials of cognitive exercise suggest that it may be effective for the prevention of longitudinal cognitive and functional decline. Recent animal studies implicate several mechanisms, including disease-dependent and disease-independent compensatory pathways.

SUMMARY

Given the precipitous forecasts for dementia over the coming decades, effective preventive strategies are of utmost importance. Findings from brain reserve studies now meet many of the formal criteria for causal agency between complex mental activity and reduced dementia risk. Key clinical trials are therefore under way to test these claims and results are keenly awaited.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales and Neuropsychiatric Institute, The Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia. michaelv@unsw.edu.au

    Source

    Current opinion in psychiatry 21:3 2008 May pg 296-302

    MeSH

    Brain
    Cognition Disorders
    Dementia
    Disease Progression
    Environment
    Humans
    Life Style
    Mental Processes
    Social Behavior

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    18382231

    Citation

    Valenzuela, Michael J.. "Brain Reserve and the Prevention of Dementia." Current Opinion in Psychiatry, vol. 21, no. 3, 2008, pp. 296-302.
    Valenzuela MJ. Brain reserve and the prevention of dementia. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008;21(3):296-302.
    Valenzuela, M. J. (2008). Brain reserve and the prevention of dementia. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 21(3), pp. 296-302. doi:10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f97b1f.
    Valenzuela MJ. Brain Reserve and the Prevention of Dementia. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008;21(3):296-302. PubMed PMID: 18382231.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Brain reserve and the prevention of dementia. A1 - Valenzuela,Michael J, PY - 2008/4/3/pubmed PY - 2008/7/25/medline PY - 2008/4/3/entrez SP - 296 EP - 302 JF - Current opinion in psychiatry JO - Curr Opin Psychiatry VL - 21 IS - 3 N2 - PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To evaluate and synthesize recent evidence linking mental activity and dementia risk, which commonly invokes 'brain reserve' as the mediating construct. RECENT FINDINGS: Brain reserve has acquired several interpretations; however, the most reliable and practical definition focuses at the behavioural level by assessing frequency and range of participation in complex mental activities. Epidemiological research suggests a clear and consistent link of high brain reserve with reduced dementia risk. Furthermore, emerging clinical trials of cognitive exercise suggest that it may be effective for the prevention of longitudinal cognitive and functional decline. Recent animal studies implicate several mechanisms, including disease-dependent and disease-independent compensatory pathways. SUMMARY: Given the precipitous forecasts for dementia over the coming decades, effective preventive strategies are of utmost importance. Findings from brain reserve studies now meet many of the formal criteria for causal agency between complex mental activity and reduced dementia risk. Key clinical trials are therefore under way to test these claims and results are keenly awaited. SN - 0951-7367 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18382231/Brain_reserve_and_the_prevention_of_dementia_ L2 - http://Insights.ovid.com/pubmed?pmid=18382231 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -