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Browsing by Author "Ääpälä, Jarno"

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  • Ääpälä, Jarno (2017)
    There are two types of assumed brain related reserves. Brain reserve is associated with structural qualities and cognitive reserve (CR) is associated with brain functioning. Both reserves prevent deterioration of cognitive abilities when brain suffer structural damage due to, for example, memory disorders. CR is defined by brain functioning that differs from what would be predicted from brain structure. This bachelor’s thesis is about measuring CR. Measurement of CR was studied in publications that were published in 2012 and after that. Studies were selected on basis of describing different methods of measuring CR and that had gained lot of attention. CR or brain pathology that CR is related to is not possible to measure directly. Research on CR is still young and measuring methods develop rapidly. In early days of CR research single measurement items that were thought to be best predictors of CR were used and they were called proxies. By the year 2006 most widely used CR proxies were education, profession, mental activities and premorbid intelligence. CR can also be measured with several indicators. Using several indicators has become more common in recent years. There are several ways to use more than one indicator. The right way cannot be defined empirically because they are statistically identical. Recent research have found bilingualism to be proxy of CR. This indicates that bilingualism has effect on CR, which indicates that CR can be modified with interventions for example. It means that studies should use formative measurement model that has CR as latent variable that is estimated with proxies using factor analysis or principal component analysis. It seems that it’s possible to modify CR and larger CR protects against cognitive impairment caused by Alzheimer’s disease. This will probably be incentive to create interventions to risk groups. Most studies about CR have not controlled brain structure, for example brain size which has effect on CR but cannot be modified with interventions. More research where brain reserve is controlled is needed for being able to predict the effect of possible preventions that are being developed.