Lenehan, ME and Summers, MJ and Saunders, NL and Summers, JJ and Ward, DD and Ritchie, K and Vickers, JC, Sending Your Grandparents to University Increases Cognitive Reserve: The Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project, Neuropsychology, 30, (5) pp. 525-531. ISSN 0894-4105 (2016) [Refereed Article]
© 2015 American Psychological Association
OBJECTIVE: Increasing an individual's level of cognitive reserve (CR) has been suggested as a nonpharmacological approach to reducing the risk for Alzheimer's disease. We examined changes in CR in older adults participating over 4 years in the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project.
METHOD: A sample of 459 healthy older adults between 50 and 79 years of age underwent a comprehensive annual assessment of current CR, neuropsychological function, and psychosocial factors over a 4-year period. The intervention group of 359 older adults (M = 59.61 years, SD = 6.67) having completed a minimum of 12 months part-time university study were compared against a control reference group of 100 adults (M = 62.49 years, SD = 6.24) who did not engage in further education.
RESULTS: Growth mixture modeling demonstrated that 44.3% of the control sample showed no change in CR, whereas 92.5% of the further education participants displayed a significant linear increase in CR over the 4 years of the study. These results indicate that older adults engaging in high-level mental stimulation display an increase in CR over a 4-year period.
CONCLUSION: Increasing mental activity in older adulthood may be a viable strategy to improve cognitive function and offset cognitive decline associated with normal aging.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Research Division:||Psychology and Cognitive Sciences|
|Research Field:||Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)|
|Objective Group:||Other Health|
|Objective Field:||Health not elsewhere classified|
|UTAS Author:||Lenehan, ME (Dr Megan Thow)|
|UTAS Author:||Summers, MJ (Dr Mathew Summers)|
|UTAS Author:||Saunders, NL (Dr Nichole Saunders)|
|UTAS Author:||Summers, JJ (Professor Jeffery Summers)|
|UTAS Author:||Ward, DD (Mr David Ward)|
|UTAS Author:||Vickers, JC (Professor James Vickers)|
|Year Published:||2016 (online first 2015)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||17|
|Deposited By:||Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre|
|Downloads:||6 View Download Statistics|
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