Chronic brain inflammation, as measured by DNA methylation (DNAm) C-reactive protein (CRP) scores, was associated with neurodegenerative brain changes in older adults.
Why this matters ?
Systemic, chronic inflammation has previously been identified as a potential driver of accelerated brain aging, but no standard biomarkers to measure chronic inflammation exist and biomarkers of acute inflammation are often relied upon.
As an alternative to the standard measures of peripheral inflammation, the study quantified a genome wide epigenetic modification of DNA (DNA methylation) signature that correlated with serum CRP levels (DNAm CRP).
DNAm CRP scores had significantly stronger associations with brain health outcomes than serum CRP, highlighting its potential as a reliable measure of chronic inflammatory status.