Currently dementia and Alzheimer’s combine to make up the majority of causes of cognitive decline. There are no ways currently to stop the brain damage that is caused by Alzheimer’s. However, these ideas regarding cognitive reserve and neuroplasticity give hope to the prevention or delay of the resulting dementia that Alzheimer’s causes.
The theory of cognitive reserve stems from the repeated observations of a lack of a direct link between the degree of brain damage and the resulting clinical manifestations. The cognitive reserve theory attempts to explain why some brains can sustain more damage Synapse xt than others and not show any clinical signs of the damage and why some brains while receiving relatively little brain damage show clinical signs early in the damage or the disease process.
The concept of cognitive reserve is essentially how many neurons and synapses that are in a given brain, the more you have the higher the reserve and the more you have to lose before cognitive decline rears its ugly head.
It has been recognize that people with higher levels of education seem to have a more cognitive resilience to brain damage than their less educated counterparts. Some researchers believe this observation suggests some sort of cognitive reserve.This findings beg for an explanation. Are the higher educated naturally endowed from birth with more neurons and connections to lose? Or, did the process of extra training, learning, memorizing, and conceptualizing new ideas build up this reserve? Current research suggests both explanations are true, people are born with more neurons and synapses and training/education has shown to increase the number of neurons and synapses.