Cognitive reserve is a concept that originated in the 1980s as a result of some studies in which it was identified. In the presence of some brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, there were areas of the brain that stored information that was not forgotten or transformed over time.
In fact, the discovery of cognitive reserve emerged from a very revealing series of analyses. There were people whose brains showed signs of advanced Alzheimer’s, but for some reason these people had never had Alzheimer’s disease. symptoms of the disease, which, as you probably already know, are very infamous because they are based on the fact that people who suffer from mental disorders like these tend to suffer from cognitive degeneration where they can even forget who they are and that, while it can be avoided with some habit changes, such as sleeping well, it is a degenerative condition that cannot be cured.
It acts as a kind of property of the mind in which it protects itself from injury resulting from the experiences it identifies and helps it to do so. It’s also linked to our brain’s ability to improvise and find alternative ways to do our job, because of the adaptability and plasticity that the mind has and that we’ve seen, for example, in the way we’ve adapted to have been working at home or living virtually for a few years now due to the pandemic. Likewise, when it sees a deficiency or complication due to an injury, our brains know how to adapt, and this is part of the cognitive reserve.
This is accumulated by our daily activities and the experience we gain from them, and it has more to do with the cognitive activity developed since birth that can protect us when we have to adapt to an injury or cognitive change.
What do the other studies show?
Other research has shown that people with higher cognitive reserve can more effectively avoid symptoms of degenerative brain changes associated with other conditions such as dementia or other brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis or stroke.
Given this information, it is essential to come up with ways to protect our cognitive reserve and one of them is to keep learning constantly. A study in the scientific journal The Lancet suggested that people who continue to learn and train throughout their lives are more likely to develop additional cognitive reserves and thereby better protect their brains from injury.
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