Association of Lifetime Cognitive Engagement and Low β-Amyloid Deposition

and Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Wilson).
Archives of neurology (Impact Factor: 7.42). 01/2012; 69(5). DOI: 10.1001/archneurol.2011.2748
Source: PubMed


OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between lifestyle practices (cognitive and physical activity) and β-amyloid deposition, measured with positron emission tomography using carbon 11-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([(11)C]PiB), in healthy older individuals. DESIGN: Cross-sectional clinical study. SETTING: Berkeley, California. PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of 65 healthy older individuals (mean age, 76.1 years), 10 patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) (mean age, 74.8 years), and 11 young controls (mean age, 24.5 years) were studied from October 31, 2005, to February 22, 2011. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cortical [(11)C]PiB average (frontal, parietal, lateral temporal, and cingulate regions) and retrospective, self-report scales assessing participation in cognitive activities (eg, reading, writing, and playing games) and physical exercise. RESULTS: Greater participation in cognitively stimulating activities across the lifespan, but particularly in early and middle life, was associated with reduced [(11)C]PiB uptake (P < .001, accounting for age, sex, and years of education). Older participants in the highest cognitive activity tertile had [(11)C]PiB uptake comparable to young controls, whereas those in the lowest cognitive activity tertile had [(11)C]PiB uptake comparable to patients with AD. Although greater cognitive activity was associated with greater physical exercise, exercise was not associated with [(11)C]PiB uptake. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with greater early- and middle- life cognitive activity had lower [(11)C]PiB uptake. The tendency to participate in cognitively stimulating activities is likely related to engagement in a variety of lifestyle practices that have been implicated in other studies showing reduced risk of AD-related pathology. We report a direct association between cognitive activity and [(11)C]PiB uptake, suggesting that lifestyle factors found in individuals with high cognitive engagement may prevent or slow deposition of β-amyloid, perhaps influencing the onset and progression of AD.

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    • "In addition, higher cognitive reserve built through long-term engagement in complex cognitive activities may enhance synaptogenesis and neuronal interconnections that are related to brain reserve, potentially reducing the risk for Aβ downstream cascade or postponing clinical deterioration [Landau et al. 2012; Sperling et al. 2014]. "
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    • "Dotyczy to nie tylko aktywności umysłowej. Brak aktywności poznawczej jest typowy dla starszych osób bez otępienia, w których mózgach pojawiły się już zmiany typowe dla AD (Landau et al., 2012). Z aktywnością wiąże się również dłuższy okres pracy zawodowej , czyli przejście na emeryturę w późniejszym wieku. "

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    • "Whether cognitive activity could mitigate disease progression has been explored in a cross-sectional study of amyloid burden in healthy elderly subjects. Those subjects with the highest level of cognitive engagement had a significantly lower cortical amyloid burden, measured with 11 C-PiB, than those with lower levels of engagement [40] "
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