Diagnosis and Management in Dementia - Chapter 43: Environmental enrichment as a preventative and therapeutic approach to Alzheimer's disease

Elsevier, Diagnosis and Management in Dementia, Volume 1, August 2020, Pages 681-693
Kimberley E. Stuart, Anna E. King, James C. Vickers

Epidemiological evidence suggests a high level of cognitive engagement, particularly in early life, is associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia in later life, including that caused by Alzheimer's disease. Limitations inherent in epidemiological investigations means that the mechanisms underlying this putative relationship are not well understood, and the array of extraneous factors encountered over a person's life span cannot be controlled for. In this regard, environmental enrichment is used as an experimental paradigm to model the effect of stimulation from the environment on animal models. Given that compelling evidence suggests that the adult brain has the capacity to undergo environment-induced plasticity, stimulation from the environment is suggested to act preventatively toward Alzheimer's disease. The focus of this review is on the pathological and functional outcomes of both preventative and therapeutic environmental enrichment on commonly used mouse models of amyloid pathology.