Inflammatory marker linked to dementia

December 09, 2019

An inflammatory marker called sCD14 is related to brain atrophy, cognitive decline and dementia, according to a study of more than 4,700 participants from two large community-based heart studies. The study was published Monday, Dec. 9, in the journal Neurology.

"We have strong reason to believe that sCD14 can be a useful biomarker to assess a person's risk of cognitive decline and dementia," said study senior author Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor of neurology at UT Health San Antonio and director of the university's Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

"The most exciting part is that we could assess this risk in advance, when there is ample time to intervene and change the course of a person's life," Dr. Seshadri said.

"Higher levels of sCD14 were associated with markers of brain aging and injury, such as total brain atrophy and a decline in executive functioning--the decision-making needed for many activities of daily life," said study lead author Matthew Pase, Ph.D., of the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia.

The researchers studied risk of dementia in 1,588 participants from the Framingham Heart Study and 3,129 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Dr. Pase and Dr. Seshadri are Framingham investigators.

Plasma sCD14 was measured in participants' blood upon study enrollment. In the Framingham group, brain MRI and cognitive testing were performed within one year after the blood draw for sCD14. A second round of tests was performed after seven years. Surveillance for dementia was conducted over an average of nine years.

In the Cardiovascular Health Study, the first brain MRI was obtained three to four years after enrollment and a second round five years later.

"Cost-effective, blood based biomarkers are greatly needed to detect and track the progression of preclinical brain injury predisposing to dementia," the researchers state in the paper. "Such biomarkers could also act as endpoints in clinical trials of disease-modifying interventions and expand our understanding of disease biology."

There are not yet any drug trials to see if lowering sCD14 levels would help cognition in humans. However, treatment with several targeted anti-inflammatory medications--such as statins--can lower sCD14. "There is a growing recognition of the role of inflammation in neurodegeneration and vascular injury-related cognitive decline and dementia," Dr. Seshadri said.
-end-
Reference: "Association of CD14 with incident dementia and markers of brain aging and injury," Neurology, Matthew P. Pase, et al.

Funding: National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellowship; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, U.S.A.; National Institute on Aging, U.S.A.; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S.A.

Acknowledgment: The authors thank the Framingham Heart Study and Cardiovascular Health Study participants for their time.

Stay connected with UT Health San Antonio on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, now called UT Health San Antonio®, is one of the country's leading health sciences universities. With missions of teaching, research, healing and community engagement, its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced 36,500 alumni who are leading change, advancing their fields and renewing hope for patients and their families throughout South Texas and the world. To learn about the many ways "We make lives better®," visit http://www.uthscsa.edu.

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Related Dementia Articles from Brightsurf:

The danger of Z-drugs for dementia patients
Strong sleeping pills known as 'Z-drugs' are linked with an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, according to new research.

The long road to dementia
Alzheimer's disease develops over decades. It begins with a fatal chain reaction in which masses of misfolded beta-amyloid proteins are produced that in the end literally flood the brain.

Why people with dementia go missing
People with dementia are more likely to go missing in areas where road networks are dense, complicated and disordered - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

PTSD may double risk of dementia
People who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are up to twice as likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a new study by UCL researchers, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

Building dementia friendly churches
A project to help church communities become more 'dementia friendly' has had a significant impact across the country.

A "feeling" for dementia?
A research team led by the DZNE concludes that personal perception can be an important indicator for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

New biomarker for dementia diagnosis
Medical researchers in the UK and Australia have identified a new marker which could support the search for novel preventative and therapeutic treatments for dementia.

Digital solutions for dementia care
Telehealth delivery of dementia care in the home can be as effective as face-to-face home visit services if carers and recipients take advantage of the technologies available, Australian researchers say.

Despite a marked reduction in the prevalence of dementia, the number of people with dementia is set to double by 2050 according to new Alzheimer Europe report
Today, at a European Parliament lunch debate, Alzheimer Europe launched a new report presenting the findings of its collaborative analysis of recent prevalence studies and setting out updated prevalence rates for dementia in Europe.

Read More: Dementia News and Dementia Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.