A framework for concepts of reserve and resilience in aging

Neurobiol Aging. 2023 Apr;124:100-103. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2022.10.015. Epub 2022 Dec 19.


The study of factors, across species, that allow some individuals to age more successfully than others has important implications for individual wellbeing as well as health education, policy and intervention. Design of studies and communication across investigators in this area has been hampered by a diversity of terminology. The Collaboratory on Research Definitions for Reserve and Resilience in Cognitive Aging and Dementia was funded by the National Institute on Aging and established in 2019 as a 3-year process of developing consensus definitions and research guidelines. The proposed Framework is based on an iterative process including 3 annual Workshops, focused workgroups, and input from numerous international investigators. It suggests the overarching term: resilience, and presents operational definitions for 3 concepts: cognitive reserve, brain maintenance, and brain reserve. Twelve pilot studies that integrate these definitions are presented. The use of a common vocabulary and operational definitions will facilitate even greater progress in understanding the factors that are associated with successful aging.

Keywords: Brain maintenance; Brain reserve; Cognitive reserve; Resilience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / psychology
  • Brain
  • Cognitive Aging*
  • Cognitive Reserve*
  • Humans