Vol. 4 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2010
Original Article Páginas: 28 a 34

Role of cognitive reserve in progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia

Authors Ricardo F. Allegri, Fernando E. Taragano, Hugo Krupitzki, Cecilia M. Serrano, Carol Dillon, Diego Sarasola, Mónica Feldman, Graciela Tufró, María Martelli, Viviana Sanchez


keywords: mild cognitive impairment, risk factors, dementia, cognitive reserve.

Cognitive reserve is the ability to optimize performance through differential recruitment of brain networks, which may reflect the use of alternative cognitive strategies. Objectives: To identify factors related to cognitive reserve associated with progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to degenerative dementia. Methods: A cohort of 239 subjects with MCI (age: 72.2±8.1 years, 58% women, education: 12 years) was assessed and followed for five years (2001 to 2006). Results: In the first year, 13.7% of MCI converted to dementia and 34.7% converted within three years (78.3% converted to Alzheimer's dementia). Risk factors for those who converted were education less than 12 years, MMSE score less than 27, Boston naming test score less than 51, IQ (Intelligence Quotient) less than 111, age over 75 years, lack of occupation at retirement, and presence of intrusions in memory recall (all account for 56% of the variability of conversion). Conclusions: MCI patients are a population at high risk for dementia. The study of risk factors (e.g. IQ, education and occupation), particularly those related to cognitive reserve, can contribute important evidence to guide the decision-making process in routine clinical activity and public health policy.


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