Many studies have shown that early-life experiences can contribute to later life cognitive reserve and resilience. However, there is evidence to suggest that later life experiences and lifestyle choices can also play a vital role in the brain's ability to respond to and compensate for neural insults associated with aging. Engaging in a diversity of behaviorally, socially, and cognitively rich activities may forge new neural pathways that can perhaps provide greater flexibility in confronting the challenges associated with accumulating brain pathology. Studies of cognitively normal individuals with pathology and of individuals who have aged exceptionally well may provide insights that are generalizable to the overall elderly population.
Keywords: Cognitive decline; Compensation; Maintenance; Plasticity; Resilience.
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