A life course approach to cognitive reserve: a model for cognitive aging and development?

Ann Neurol. 2005 Oct;58(4):617-22. doi: 10.1002/ana.20637.


The concept of reserve in neuroscience maintains that there are aspects of brain structure and function that can buffer the effects of neuropathology such that the greater the reserve, the more severe the pathology must be to cause functional impairment. This article provides a concise overview of structural and functional approaches to reserve and shows how reserve may be conceived as the sum of its lifetime input. In this context, reserve therefore provides an empirical yet general model of cognitive aging and development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Human Development / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neuropsychological Tests