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Neurobiol Aging. 2007 Dec;28(12):1810-20. Epub 2006 Sep 29.

Blood inflammatory markers and risk of dementia: The Conselice Study of Brain Aging.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Cardioangiology, and Hepatology, University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Via Massarenti, 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.


Incidence studies of blood inflammatory markers as predictors of dementia in older age are few and did not take into account hyperhomocysteinemia, although this condition is associated with both inflammation and increased risk of dementia. We investigated the relationships of baseline serum C-reactive protein (CRP), serum interleukin 6 (IL6), plasma alpha-1-antichymotrypsin, and hyperhomocysteinemia (defined as plasma total homocysteine>15 micromol/L) with risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) in a dementia-free Italian population-based elderly cohort (n=804, 53.2% women, mean age 74 years) with 4 years of follow-up. No inflammatory marker, alone or in combination, predicted AD risk whereas the combination of high CRP and high IL6 was associated with risk of VaD (HR, 2.56; 95%CI, 1.21-5.50) independently of socio-demographic confounders, traditional risk factors and hyperhomocysteinemia. By contrast, in the same model, hyperhomocysteinemia was independently associated with AD (HR, 1.91; 95%CI, 1.02-3.56) but not VaD risk. Blood inflammatory markers are associated with increased VaD risk but do not predict AD, which seems selectively associated with hyperhomocysteinemia.

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