Cognitive reserve and cognitive functioning: a pilot study on a Russian sample

  • O. Strizhitskaya


Cognitive functioning (CF) is one of the important domains affecting quality of life in older adulthood. CF or “cognitive health” affects general health and social interaction. Decrease in cognitive health can hide symptoms of somatic diseases, impact lifestyle habits etc. In the present study we tested a model of cognitive reserve (CR) on a Russian sample. We assumed that cultural specifics can affect the role of different components of CR in CF. Participants were 75 adults aged 50-77 from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Methods: Cognitive reserve index questionnaire (CRIq), Montreal cognitive assessment test (MOCA). We assumed that Russian older adults having Russian as their native language have to use at least Latin alphabet. Thus we included in the model variables on knowledge of foreign languages: (1) European non-Slavic, (2) European Slavic, (3) Eastern languages. Preliminary regression analysis of the components of CR showed three consistent with the original model components: education, work activity and leisure activity. Further analysis showed that general cognitive score was predicted by household duties, participation in social activities, professional qualified experience, knowledge of Slavic and Eastern languages. It is important to mention that while particular activities of the CR model predicted CF; generalized scores of the components did not. These results open a very important cross-cultural perspective: the percent of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is approximately the same in most countries regardless of country-level socio-economic differences. In our case we can suppose that for Russian sample this model needs further differentiation. Supported by RFBR grant 16-06-00086
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