AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 3, 2018

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Mid- to Late-life Increases in Marker of Chronic Inflammation Tied to Dementia

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have added to evidence that rising and chronic inflammation as measured by a biomarker in the blood in middle and late age are linked to visible structural changes in the brains of people with poor cognition and dementia.

The authors say results of their study, based on data gathered from a federally funded study on more than 1,500 people, suggests that efforts to curb inflammation with drugs or lifestyle changes midlife or earlier may be key to delaying or preventing cognitive decline in old age.

“We found that individuals who had an increase in inflammation during midlife that was maintained from mid to late life have greater abnormalities in the brain’s white matter structure, as measured with MRI scans,” says Keenan Walker, Ph.D., lead author and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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