Inflammatory markers may predict onset of dementia


  • Low-grade inflammation (as measured by interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and high-sensitivity c-reactive protein [CRP] levels) is an independent risk factor of cognitive performance in later life.

Why this matters

  • Low-grade inflammation has been associated with disorders such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, depression and dementia, as well as cardiovascular disease; however, its association with cognitive decline remains uncertain, especially in later life.

  • If low-grade inflammation in midlife (as measured by the pro-inflammatory mediators IL-6, TNF-α and high-sensitivity CRP levels) is linked to cognitive decline in later life, then such measurements can allow for early detection and monitoring of early dementia.