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Title: Life-course determinants of resilience to cognitive ageing : empirical evidence and policy implications
Author: Chapko, Dorota
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 1504
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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Introduction: Understanding the life-course determinants of resilience to brain ageing could significantly reduce the burden of cognitive impairment and dementia on individuals, heath care providers, and societies. The focus of this work is the concept of cognitive reserve (CR), which implies that some individuals are able to remain cognitively healthy despite the accumulation of age-related neuropathology. Methods: The determinants of brain structure and function were statistically modelled using three ongoing ageing cohort studies [Aberdeen Birth Cohort of 1936 (ABC1936), Aberdeen Children of the 1950s (ACONF), The Three-City French Cohort (3C)]. First, I performed a systematic literature review to identify life-course determinants of CR. Then, I examined whether other potentially modifiable life-course factors such as birth weight, mid-life occupational profile, and late-life social relationships and technology use provided individuals with greater CR. I modelled data in STATA and SPSS/AMOS. Results: I found that the effects of low birth weight and pre-term delivery on cognitive functions persists into mid-life (ACONF). I showed that childhood intelligence at age 11 has almost twice the protective effect on cognitive ageing than mid-life occupation (ABC1936). The quantity and quality of social relationships (3C), and the aspects of technology use in latelife (ABC1936) did not provide greater CR. Conclusion: Early-life factors contribute to later-life brain health. A major implication of this work is that studies and/or programs should consider a life-course perspective (with a focus on early-life) to accurately assess and to improve the brain health of older adults.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Aberdeen ; Alzheimer's Research UK ; Scotland ; NHS Grampian Endowment Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Birth weight ; Low ; Premature infants ; Brain ; Health ; Medical policy