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Collaboratory on Research
Definitions for Reserve and
Resilience in Cognitive Aging
and Dementia

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» Collaboratory on Research Definitions for Reserve and Resilience in Cognitive Aging and Dementia

» Hans-Ulrich Klein, PhD

» Vilas Menon, PhD

» Gunnar Hargus, MD, PhD

» Wassim Elyaman, PhD

» Elizabeth M. Bradshaw, PhD

» Falak Sher, PhD

» Alejandro Chavez, MD, PhD

» Center of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease (CEAD) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center


» Estela Area Gomez, PhD

» Columbia University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) 2018-19 Pilot Grant Awardees

» Luke E. Berchowitz, PhD

» Catherine Marquer, PhD

» Inbal Israely, PhD

» Laura Beth McIntire, PhD

» Abid Hussaini, PhD

» Yian Gu, MD, MS, PhD


» Frank Provenzano, PhD

» James M. Noble, MD, MS

» Ronald K. H. Liem, PhD

» Natura Myeku, PhD

» Christiane Reitz, MD, PhD

» Qolamreza R. Razlighi, PhD: Quantitative Neuroimaging Laboratory

» Nicole Schupf, PhD

» Sandra Barral Rodriguez, PhD

» Wai Haung Yu, PhD

» Giuseppe Tosto, MD, PhD

» Catherine L. Clelland, MS, PhD


» Andrew A. Sproul, PhD

» William C. Kreisl, MD

» Badri N. Vardarajan, PhD, MS

» Diego E. Berman, PhD

» Joseph H. Lee, DrPH

» Dr. Yaakov Stern: the Concept of Cognitive Reserve

» The Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Columbia University Celebrates 25 Years

» Stephanie Cosentino, PhD

» Edward D. Huey, MD

» Jennifer J. Manly, PhD

» Lawrence S. Honig, MD, PhD, FAAN


» Andrew Teich, MD, PhD

» Ismael Santa-Maria Perez, PhD

» Christian Habeck, PhD

» Roger Lefort, PhD

» Clarissa Waites, PhD

» Francesca Bartolini, PhD

» Tae-Wan Kim, PhD

» Carol M. Troy, MD, PhD

» Adam M. Brickman, PhD

» Gil Di Paolo, PhD


» Asa Abeliovich, MD, PhD

» Lorraine N. Clark, PhD

» Ulrich Hengst, PhD

» Yaakov Stern, PhD: Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging Laboratory

» Ottavio Arancio, MD, PhD

» Karen S. Marder, MD, MPH

» Scott Small Laboratory

» Michael Shelanski Laboratory

» Richard Mayeux, MD, MSc: Laboratory for Genetic Epidemiology

» Karen Duff Laboratory

A Q&A with Collaboratory Chair Dr. Yaakov Stern
The three-year, National Institute of Aging-supported Collaboratory on Research Definitions will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas on definitions for the concepts of Reserve and Resilience and related terms. Here, Collaboratory Chair Dr. Yaakov Stern provides some background and insight into the project aims ahead of hosting the
1st Workshop on Reserve & Resilience in Cognitive Aging and Dementia

this September 9-10, 2019 in Bethesda, MD. Click Here to Register.

Dr. Yaakov Stern (YS), please give us some background on this exciting new project!

YS: Research indicates that specific life exposures and genetic factors contribute to some people being more resilient than others, with lower rates of cognitive decline with aging and reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. The factors associated with resilience have an important role in the development of interventions and health policies. There are likely several complex and highly interactive mechanisms that lead to these individual differences in vulnerability to decline, probably reliant on both structural and functional brain mechanisms. Investigators in this area have employed many terms encapsulating individual differences including resilience, cognitive reserve, brain reserve, brain maintenance, and compensation. In addition, there are terms commonly used in cognitive neuroscience studies of aging, such as efficiency, capacity, and compensation. However, the definitions of these concepts differ across researchers, and the translation from human to animal research is not well developed. It is important to bring together researchers from basic neuroscience to human studies to develop operational definitions for these concepts.

Who else is involved in this Collaboratory?

YS: Members of the Collaboratory Executive Committee include Marilyn Albert, PhD from Johns Hopkins University; Carol Barnes, PhD from the University of Arizona; Roberto Cabeza, PhD from Duke University; and Peter Rapp, PhD from the National Institute on Aging.

The support for the Collaboratory comes from the National Institute of Aging, which put out a request for applications that detailed most of the features of the project. To help plan this project, I tried to enlist a set of investigators who are active in the area, represented both human and animal research, and had diverse opinions. We needed to translate the general guidelines of the request for application into an actual action plan.

The overall goal is to develop operational definitions, research guidelines, and data sharing platforms with consensus and assistance from the research community. We will hold three cross-discipline workshops to bring together investigators to discuss and come to consensus on these concepts, and create focused work groups that will examine each of these issues. The first of these workshops will take place this September 9-10, in Bethesda, MD.

What is your plan for this 1st Annual Reserve & Resilience Workshop?

YS: Because our emphasis is on the definitions and research implementations of concepts regarding reserve and resilience, we came up with a unique format for the first workshop. Unlike a typical conference, it will not feature research talks or poster presentations. Rather, each session will be composed of a multidisciplinary panel of six investigators. Each panel member will briefly present the operational definitions that they use for their chosen concepts and provide an example from their research, using only three carefully structured slides. This will be followed by intensive discussion first within the panel and then among the attendees. All attendees will then participate in breakout groups on the second day of the workshop. The breakout groups will identify areas of consensus and issues to be resolved. These discussions will lead to formation of workgroups, which will meet throughout the year in order to discuss and come to consensus on specific items that will guide the agenda for the 2nd Annual Reserve & Resilience Workshop, which will take place September 14-15, 2020.

What do you expect from this initial event?

YS: We will have an audience of over 260 researchers from around the globe, who will have the opportunity to contribute to the formation of operational definitions and framework for future research. However, I really don’t think that we will come to complete consensus at this first workshop. There are a lot of subtle and not so subtle disagreements about these concepts. A particular challenge will be to identify concepts corresponding to the ones used by human investigators in neurobiology, animal models, and models at the level of cells and molecules. We will need to develop approaches bridging those levels of analysis.

Please tell us more about the aspects of the program?

YS: A big part of the program will be the ongoing workgroups. Although we have many thoughts about them, our hope is that the first workshop will help us designate the topics and membership of these workgroups. We also have funds for pilot grants that will further the understanding and research applicability of these concepts. Here again, the initial workshop will help us identify themes for these pilot grants. We will establish a committee to develop specific requests for applications.

One intriguing resource that we developed in response to the original request for applications is a repository where large data sets can be shared and analyzed, to facilitate collaborative research. It will be interesting to see what will be done with this. Finally, one strong goal is dissemination. We have an established website, https://reserveandresilience.com, where all of the talks and slides will be posted. We anticipate writing reports and papers describing the process and outcomes of the first meeting.

What excites you about this project?

YS: I have been involved in studying the concept of cognitive reserve for many years. More generally, the concept that various lifestyle factors can significantly influence cognitive aging and risk for dementia has received greater and greater support over time. My hope is that developing a common language, and agreement on research paradigms, will boost this area of research. Of course, the eventual goal of all of this research is to identify real world approaches for maximizing successful aging.

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