According to a news release from the West Orange, NJ-based Kessler Foundation higher educational attainment helps reduce the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on cognitive status. During the study, researchers note that they compared 44 individuals with moderate to severe TBI with 36 healthy controls. The researchers then evaluated the individuals’ cognitive status with neuropsychological tasks.

According to researcher James F. Sumowski, PhD, senior research scientists in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, while cognition was worse in the TBI group, “higher education attenuated the negative effect of TBI on cognitive status, such that persons with higher education were protected against TBI-related cognitive impairment.”

Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of TBI Research and Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research and Neuropscyhology & Neuroscience research, states that the results, “support the hypothesis of cognitive reserve in TBI, i.e., as in MS, higher intellectual enrichment benefits cognitive status. This knowledge may help identify those persons with TBI who need early intervention because they are at greater risk for cognitive impairment.”

Chiaravalloti adds that it may also be beneficial to promote enriching activities among TBI patients. She also notes that while causation has not yet been proved, intellectual activities may protect against further cognitive decline.

Source: Kessler Foundation