TITLE

Cognitive Functioning in Healthy Aging: The Role of Reserve and Lifestyle Factors Early in Life

AUTHOR(S)
Fritsch, Thomas; McClendon, McKee J.; Smyth, Kathleen A.; Lerner, Alan J.; Friedland, Robert P.; Larsen, Janet D.
PUB. DATE
June 2007
SOURCE
Gerontologist;Jun2007, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p307
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Purpose: According to the reserve perspective on cognitive aging, individuals are born with or can develop resources that help them resist normal and disease-related cognitive changes that occur in aging. The reserve perspective is becoming more sophisticated, but gaps in knowledge persist. In the present research, we considered three understudied questions about reserve: Is reserve primarily static (unchangeable) throughout the life course or dynamic (changeable, in terms of increases or decreases)? Can reserve be increased at any point in life, or are there optimal time periods—such as early life, midlife, or late life—to increase it? Does participation in different types of leisure and occupational activities in early life and midlife have different effects depending on specific domains of late-life cognitive functioning? Here we link early cognitive and activity data—gathered from archival sources—with cognitive data from older adults to examine these issues. Design and Methods: 349 participants, all mid-1940s graduates of the same high school, underwent telephone cognitive screening. All participants provided access to adolescent IQ scores; we determined activity levels from yearbooks. We used path analysis to evaluate the complex relationships between early life, midlife, and late-life variables. Results: Adolescent IQ had strong direct effects on global cognitive functioning, episodic memory, verbal fluency, and processing speed. Participants' high school mental activities had direct effects on verbal fluency, but physical and social activities did not predict any cognitive measure. Education had direct effects on global cognitive functioning, episodic memory, and, most strongly, processing speed, but other midlife factors (notably, occupational demands) were not significant predictors of late-life cognition. There were weak indirect effects of adolescent IQ on global cognitive functioning, episodic memory, and processing speed, working through high school mental activities and education. Verbal fluency, in contrast, was affected by adolescent IQ through links with high school mental activities, but not education. Implications: Our study suggests that reserve is dynamic, but it is most amenable to change in early life. We conclude that an active, engaged lifestyle, emphasizing mental activity and educational pursuits in early life, can have a positive impact on cognitive functioning in late life.
ACCESSION #
82066911

 

Related Articles

  • International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease: Lifestyle and Diet Choices Can Help Keep Your Brain Sharp.  // Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter;Oct2009, Vol. 27 Issue 8, p1 

    The article reports on the findings of a research on how to improve one's cognitive ability, presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Vienna, Austria. The research revealed that lifestyle changes, exercise, diet, and reduced alcohol intake can help prevent mental...

  • Higher-Level Hand Motor Function in Aging and (Preclinical) Dementia: Its Relationship with (Instrumental) Activities of Daily Life – A Mini-Review. Scherder, Erik; Dekker, Welmoed; Eggermont, Laura // Gerontology;Nov2008, Vol. 54 Issue 6, p333 

    A causal relationship between physical activity such as walking and cognitive functions – particularly executive functions and memory – has been observed in elderly people with and without dementia. Executive functions play an important role in the (instrumental) activities of...

  • The Prevalence of Peripheral and Central Hearing Impairment and Its Relation to Cognition in Older Adults. Quaranta, Nicola; Coppola, Francesco; Casulli, Mara; Barulli, Orietta; Lanza, Francesco; Tortelli, Rosanna; Capozzo, Rosa; Leo, antonio; Tursi, Marianna; Grasso, alessandra; Solfrizzi, Vincenzo; Sobbà, C.; Logroscino, Giancarlo // Audiology & Neuro-Otology;Feb2015 Supplement, p10 

    Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and dementia are two highly prevalent conditions in the adult population. Recent studies have suggested that hearing loss is independently associated with poorer cognitive functioning. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of ARHL and cognitive...

  • Brutal Truths: About the Aging Brain. EPSTEIN, ROBERT // Discover;Oct2012, Vol. 33 Issue 8, p48 

    The article discusses research on age-related brain atrophy and cognitive decline which results from slow blood flow that reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to brain cells and affects the human brain's ability to repair neurons. The four cognitive systems that decline with...

  • Subjective Beliefs, Memory and Functional Health: Change and Associations over 12 Years in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Luszcz, Mary a.; anstey, Kaarin J.; Ghisletta, Paolo // Gerontology;Apr2015, Vol. 61 Issue 3, p241 

    Background: Neither subjective memory beliefs, nor remembering itself, can be isolated from the overall context in which one is aging, nor are the drivers of memory complaints well specified. Sense of control is an important self-regulatory resource that drives cognitive and physical health over...

  • A Controlled Investigation of a Cognitive Behavioural Pain Management Program for Older Adults. Green, Sheryl M.; Hadjistavropoulos, Thomas; Hadjistavropoulos, Heather; Martin, Ronald; Sharpe, Donald // Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy;Mar2009, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p1 

    Background: Although psychosocial treatments for pain have been found to be effective in reducing self-reported pain, physician visits, and in improving mood, the research has largely focused on younger persons. As such, there is a paucity of related studies involving older adults. Method: We...

  • Automatic Change Detection in Older and Younger Women: A Visual Mismatch Negativity Study. Sulykos, István; Gaál, Zsófia Anna; Czigler, István ; Sulykos, István; Gaál, Zsófia Anna; Czigler, István // Gerontology;Jun2018, Vol. 64 Issue 4, p318 

    Background: In comparison to controlled (attentional) processing, relatively little is known about the age-related changes of the earlier (preattentive) processes. An event-related potential (ERP) index of preattentive (automatic) visual processing, the visual mismatch negativity...

  • How the young mind works. Lyle, Sue // Creative Teaching & Learning;2012, Vol. 2 Issue 4, p18 

    The article presents information regarding the cognitive psychology related to the developing minds of children. It discusses the efforts of nursery teacher, Sara Stanley for providing practical support of learning theories provided by scientist Alison Gopnik and her entire team. It mentions...

  • The cerebellum for jocks and nerds alike. Popa, Laurentiu S.; Hewitt, Angela L.; Ebner, Timothy J. // Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience;May2014, Vol. 8, p1 

    Historically the cerebellum has been implicated in the control of movement. However, the cerebellum's role in non-motor functions, including cognitive and emotional processes, has also received increasing attention. Starting from the premise that the uniform architecture of the cerebellum...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics