Tags: family | dementia | resistant | inflammastion | C-reactive | protein | brain

Is Your Family Dementia-Resistant?

Friday, 17 Aug 2012 12:12 PM

Living a full life free of dementia runs in the family, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. The relatives of people who are free of dementia and also have high levels a protein that indicates the presence of inflammation are likely to escape the disease as well.
In younger people, the presence of C-reactive protein is related to worse brain function, says study author Jeremy M. Silverman, Ph.D., with Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. But for the very old who remain mentally alert, the high protein levels may mean they are more resistant to developing dementia. Even more, immediate relatives may also be protected.
“In very elderly people with good cognition, higher levels of C-reactive protein, which is related to inflammation, are associated with better memory,” he said. “Our results found that the higher the level of this protein in the study participant, the lower the risk for dementia in their parents and siblings.”
For the study, researchers identified 277 male veterans age 75 and older and free of dementia symptoms. They were given a test that measured levels of the protein. Next, the group was interviewed about 1,329 parents and siblings and whether they had dementia. A total of 40 relatives from 37 families had dementia. A secondary, independent group of 51 men age 85 and older with no dementia symptoms were given an interview about 202 relatives for dementia. Nine of the relatives had dementia.
Study investigators found that participants who had higher amounts of the protein were more than 30 percent less likely to have relatives with dementia. Similar results were found in the secondary group. Since the protein levels were not associated with years of education, marital status, occupation, and physical activity, these factors could not account for the lower risks seen.
“This protein is related to worse cognition in younger elderly people. Thus, for very old people who remain cognitively healthy, those with a high protein level may be more resistant to dementia,” said Silverman. “Our study shows that this protection may be passed on to immediate relatives.”


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Living a full life free of dementia runs in the family, according to a study that found that relatives of people who are free of dementia and also have high levels a protein that indicates the presence of inflammation are likely to escape the disease as well.
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2012-12-17
Friday, 17 Aug 2012 12:12 PM
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