Rethinking the Reserve with a Translational Approach: Novel Ideas on the Construct and the Interventions

Laura Serra, Francesca Gelfo, Laura Petrosini, Carlotta Di Domenico, Marco Bozzali, Carlo Caltagirone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of brain, cognitive, and neural reserves has been introduced to account for the apparent discrepancies between neurological damage and clinical manifestations. However, these ideas are yet theoretical suggestions that are not completely assimilated in the clinical routine. The mechanisms of the reserves have been extensively studied in neurodegenerative pathologies, in particular in Alzheimer's disease. Both human and animal studies addressed this topic by following two parallel pathways. The specific aim of the present review is to attempt to combine the suggestions derived from the two different research fields to deepen the knowledge about reserves. In fact, the achievement of a comprehensive theoretical framework on reserve mechanisms is an essential step to propose well-timed interventions tailored to the clinical characteristics of patients. The present review highlights the importance of addressing three main aspects: the definition of reserve proxy measures, the interaction between reserve level and therapeutic interventions, and the specific time-window of reserve efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1078
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • animal studies
  • environmental enrichment
  • human studies
  • MRI
  • reserve mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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