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Optimizing cognition in older adults: lifestyle factors, neuroplasticity, and cognitive reserve 

Optimizing cognition in older adults: lifestyle factors, neuroplasticity, and cognitive reserve
Chapter:
Optimizing cognition in older adults: lifestyle factors, neuroplasticity, and cognitive reserve
Author(s):

Nicoletta Berardi

, Alessandro Sale

, and Lamberto Maffei

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0166
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date: 18 October 2019

Cognitive decline with age shows strong interindividual variance. Several epidemiological studies have shown that some of the factors associated with maintaining a good cognitive performance with age are lifestyle factors, such as practising physical activity and being engaged in cognively stimulating activities, which are potentially modifiable even in old age. In parallel, studies in animal models have shown that physical exercise and environmental stimulation result in better cognitive performance, potentiation of neural plasticity, neuroprotection. More recently, intervention studies in humans begin to show that training based on cognitive or physical activity enhance cognitive performance in older adults. At the core of lifestyle effects on cognitive ageing is neural plasticity and the action of multiple molecular factors which translate physical and cognitive activity into adaptive and protective changes in the brain, allowing elders to better face ageing-related cognitive changes.

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