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Inflammatory markers and neuropsychological functioning: the Framingham Heart Study.

Jefferson AL, Massaro JM, Beiser AS, Seshadri S, Larson MG, Wolf PA, Au R, Benjamin EJ
Neuroepidemiology. 2011 37 (1): 21-30

PMID: 21757961 · PMCID: PMC3142099 · DOI:10.1159/000328864

BACKGROUND/AIMS - We hypothesized that inflammatory markers are cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with neuropsychological indicators of early ischemia and Alzheimer's disease.

METHODS - Framingham Offspring Study participants, free of clinical stroke or dementia (n = 1,878; 60 ± 9 years; 54% women), underwent neuropsychological assessment and ascertainment of 11 inflammatory markers. Follow-up neuropsychological assessments (6.3 ± 1.0 years) were conducted on 1,352 of the original 1,878 participants.

RESULTS - Multivariable linear regression related the inflammatory markers to cross-sectional performance and longitudinal change in neuropsychological performances. Secondary models included a twelfth factor, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), available on a subset of the sample (n = 1,393 cross-sectional; n = 1,213 longitudinal). Results suggest a few modest cross-sectional inflammatory and neuropsychological associations, particularly for tests assessing visual organization (C-reactive protein, p = 0.007), and a few modest relations between inflammatory markers and neuropsychological change, particularly for executive functioning (TNF-α, p = 0.004). Secondary analyses suggested that inflammatory markers were cross-sectionally (TNF-α, p = 0.004) related to reading performance.

CONCLUSIONS - Our findings are largely negative, but suggest that specific inflammatory markers may have limited associations with poorer cognition and reading performance among community-dwelling adults. Because of multiple testing concerns, our limited positive findings are offered as hypothesis generating and require replication in other studies.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

MeSH Terms (16)

Adult Aged Aged, 80 and over Biomarkers Cognition Cross-Sectional Studies Cytokines Executive Function Female Humans Inflammation Longitudinal Studies Male Memory Middle Aged Neuropsychological Tests

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