Postponing Cognitive Decline
Due to the worldwide aging of populations, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias constitute a devastating experience for patients and families as well as a major social and economic burden for both health care systems and society. Multiple potentially modifiable cardiovascular and lifestyle risk factors have been associated with this disease. Thus, modifying these risk factors and identifying protective factors represent important strategies to prevent and delay disease onset and to decrease the social burden. Based on the cognitive reserve hypothesis, evidence from epidemiological studies shows that low education and cognitive inactivity constitute major risk factors for dementia. This indicates that a cognitively active lifestyle may protect against cognitive decline or delay the onset of dementia. The current review summarizes findings concerning “cognitive activity” as a protective factor for delaying cognitive decline and dementia, with an emphasis on AD. Programs such as the “BrainCoach Program” with “Motivational Interviewing” aim to stimulate and increase cognitive activity in older adults at risk for cognitive decline.
KeywordsAlzheimer’s disease Cognitive impairment Dementia Prevention Cognitive reserve BrainCoach Protective factors Motivational interviewing
The “BrainCoach” program is financially supported by an unrestricted grant from Vifor Pharma, Switzerland.
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