The “cognitive reserve hypothesis” is a clinically relevant model explaining the phenomenon of possibility to reverse and prevent age-related cognitive decline. Contrary to the rather mechanical transfer of biological principles depicting the post-reproductive stage of life history as evolutionary insignificant and thus lacking viable adaptation mechanisms, the cognitive reserve model proposes that the evolved cognitive ability in hominid may be linked to evolutionary selection for increased lifespan, which, in its own turn potentially is capable of providing cognitive health as an attribute of healthy aging.
Source: Stern, Y. (2002). What is cognitive reserve? Theory and research application of the reserve concept. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society,8(03), 448-460.