Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 374–380 | Cite as

Cognitive reserve: Implications for diagnosis and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Nikolaos Scarmeas
  • Yaakov Stern


Epidemiologic evidence suggests that higher occupational attainment and education, as well as increased participation in intellectual, social, and physical aspects of daily life, are associated with slower cognitive decline in healthy elderly and may reduce the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There is also evidence from structural and functional imaging studies that patients with such life experiences can tolerate more AD pathology before showing signs of clinical dementia. It has been hypothesized that such aspects of life experience may result in functionally more efficient cognitive networks and, therefore, provide a cognitive reserve that delays the onset of clinical manifestations of dementia. In this article, we review some of the relevant literature of the noted associations between markers of cognitive reserve and AD and discuss the possible mechanisms that may explain these associations.


Dementia Cognitive Reserve Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study High Cognitive Reserve Kungsholmen Project 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Current Science Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaos Scarmeas
    • 1
  • Yaakov Stern
    • 1
  1. 1.Columbia Presbyterian Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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