FRIDAY, July 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Self-reported physical and cognitive activities are associated with cognitive reserve, especially among women, although the associations are attenuated by APOE4, according to a study published online July 20 in Neurology.

Judy Pa, Ph.D., from UCSD Health in San Diego, and colleagues examined interactions between sex and physical or cognitive activities on cognitive reserve for speed and memory among 758 older adults.

The researchers found that for women, but not men, there was an association between higher metabolic equivalents (METS) and greater speed reserve. There was no association seen for METS with memory reserve in women or men. In the cohort, more self-reported cognitive activity (COGACT) was associated with greater speed reserve, while there was a trend for COGACT with greater memory reserve in women, but not men. APOE4 carrier status attenuated the association between METS and speed reserve and between COGACT and both speed and memory reserve in women only.

“The findings from the present study can be used to develop more precise lifestyle recommendations based on sex and APOE4 status,” the authors write. “Future studies are needed to test the causal relationship between lifestyle activities and cognitive reserve and how causality is modified by sex and APOE4.”

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