Whitepaper: Defining and investigating cognitive reserve, brain reserve, and brain maintenance

Yaakov Stern, Eider M. Arenaza-Urquijo, David Bartrés-Faz, Sylvie Belleville, Marc Cantilon, Gael Chetelat, Michael Ewers, Nicolai Franzmeier, Gerd Kempermann, William S. Kremen, Ozioma Okonkwo, Nikolaos Scarmeas, Anja Soldan, Chinedu Udeh-Momoh, Michael Valenzuela, Prashanthi Vemuri, Eero Vuoksimaa, Reserve, Resilience and Protective Factors PIA Empirical Definitions and Conceptual Frameworks Workgroup

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166 Citations (Scopus)


Several concepts, which in the aggregate get might be used to account for “resilience” against age- and disease-related changes, have been the subject of much research. These include brain reserve, cognitive reserve, and brain maintenance. However, different investigators have use these terms in different ways, and there has never been an attempt to arrive at consensus on the definition of these concepts. Furthermore, there has been confusion regarding the measurement of these constructs and the appropriate ways to apply them to research. Therefore the reserve, resilience, and protective factors professional interest area, established under the auspices of the Alzheimer's Association, established a whitepaper workgroup to develop consensus definitions for cognitive reserve, brain reserve, and brain maintenance. The workgroup also evaluated measures that have been used to implement these concepts in research settings and developed guidelines for research that explores or utilizes these concepts. The workgroup hopes that this whitepaper will form a reference point for researchers in this area and facilitate research by supplying a common language.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognition
  • Epidemiology
  • Functional imaging
  • Structural imaging

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