Sociodemographic, Lifestyle, Physical, and Psychosocial Determinants of Cognitive Reserve

Jendé L. Zijlmans, Sander Lamballais, Meike W. Vernooij, M. Arfan Ikram, Annemarie I. Luik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Cognitive reserve aims to explain individual differences in the susceptibility to the functional impact of dementia in the presence of equal amount of neuropathological damage. It is thought to be shaped by a combination of innate individual differences and lifetime exposures. Which determinants are associated with cognitive reserve remains unknown. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the associations of sociodemographic, lifestyle, physical, and psychosocial determinants with cognitive reserve, and potential sex differences. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 4,309 participants from the Rotterdam Study (mean age 63.9±10.7) between 2006-2016. Participants completed five cognitive tests and a brain MRI-scan. Cognitive reserve was defined as a latent variable that captures variance common across five cognitive tests, while adjusting for demographic and MRI-inferred neuropathological factors. The associations of potential determinants and cognitive reserve, adjusted for relevant confounders, were assessed with structural equation models. Results: Current smoking (adjusted mean difference: -0.31, 95%confidence interval -0.42; -0.19), diabetes mellitus (-0.25, -0.40; -0.10) and depressive symptoms (-0.07/SD, -0.12; -0.03) were associated with a lower cognitive reserve whereas alcohol use (0.07/SD, 0.03; 0.12) was associated with higher cognitive reserve. Only smoking was associated with cognitive reserve in both men and women. Employment, alcohol use, diabetes, history of cancer, COPD, and depressive symptoms were only associated with cognitive reserve in women. Conclusion: Our study found that current smoking, diabetes mellitus, and depressive symptoms were associated with a lower cognitive reserve, whereas more alcohol use was associated with a higher cognitive reserve, but with clear differences between men and women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-709
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Rotterdam Study is funded by Erasmus Medical Center and Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands Organization for the Health Research and Development (ZonMw), the Research Institute for Diseases in the Elderly (RIDE), the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sports, the European Commission (DG XII), and the Municipality of Rotterdam. This study was partly performed as part of the Netherlands Consortium of Dementia Cohorts (NCDC), which receives funding in the context of Delta-plan Dementie from ZonMW Memorabel (projectnr 73305095005) and Alzheimer Nederland. The study received further funding by the EU Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND) in the HeSoCare-call for the project Social Health and Reserve in the Dementia patient journey (SHARED) (HESOCARE-329-109) funded through the Delta-plan Dementia by ZonMW (number 733051082) and Alzheimer Nederland. MAI received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (678543, ORACLE). The authors are grateful to the study participants, the staff from the Rotterdam Study and the participating general practitioners and pharmacists. The funding sources had no role in the design, analyses, interpretation of the data, or decision to submit results of this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 - The authors. Published by IOS Press.


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