Serhiy Dekhtyar is an assistant professor at the Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. His training is in Demography with a PhD from Lund University in 2013. Before joining ARC, he did a postdoc at the Clinical Neuroscience Department at Karolinska Institutet, working on the nexus between societal factors and cognitive outcomes. His current research is primarily in the field of geriatric epidemiology. He is especially interested in risk and protective factors from a life course perspective in relation to dementia and multimorbidity (the co-existence of multiple chronic conditions in the same individual). Dr. Dekhtyar is the principal investigator for of project on mental health outcomes in older adults in relation to lifelong socioeconomic disadvantage and multimorbidity financed by the Swedish Research Council for Health and Working Life (FORTE).
The concept of cognitive reserve has been developed to account for the discontinuity between the extent of brain damage and its clinical manifestation in the form of dementia diagnosis. People with more reserve might withstand greater extent of brain damage due to active cerebral compensatory mechanisms. Education has been widely used as a proxy of reserve, given a well-established association between longer schooling and reduced risk of dementia. Recently, however, it has become clear that dementia develops throughout the entire life-course and that a variety of factors likely contribute to the formation of cognitive reserve over the lifespan. In this talk I will discuss an emerging perspective on dementia that emphasizes life-long accumulation of stimulating experiences that are suspected to enhance cognitive reserve.