Vol. 37, No. 1, 2011
Issue release date: September 2011
Free Access
Neuroepidemiology 2011;37:21–30
Original Paper
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Inflammatory Markers and Neuropsychological Functioning: The Framingham Heart Study

Jefferson A.L.a · Massaro J.M.b, c · Beiser A.S.a–c · Seshadri S.a, c · Larson M.G.b, c · Wolf P.A.a, c · Au R.a, c · Benjamin E.J.a–c
aBoston University School of Medicine, and bBoston University School of Public Health, Boston, Mass., and cNational Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Mass., USA
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Memory
  • Executive functioning
  • Inflammation
  • Cognition
  • WRAT-3 reading

 goto top of outline Abstract

Background/Aims: We hypothesized that inflammatory markers are cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with neuropsychological indicators of early ischemia and Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: Framingham Offspring Study participants, free of clinical stroke or dementia (n = 1,878; 60 ± 9 years; 54% women), underwent neuropsychological assessment and ascertainment of 11 inflammatory markers. Follow-up neuropsychological assessments (6.3 ± 1.0 years) were conducted on 1,352 of the original 1,878 participants. Results: Multivariable linear regression related the inflammatory markers to cross-sectional performance and longitudinal change in neuropsychological performances. Secondary models included a twelfth factor, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), available on a subset of the sample (n = 1,393 cross-sectional; n = 1,213 longitudinal). Results suggest a few modest cross-sectional inflammatory and neuropsychological associations, particularly for tests assessing visual organization (C-reactive protein, p = 0.007), and a few modest relations between inflammatory markers and neuropsychological change, particularly for executive functioning (TNF-α, p = 0.004). Secondary analyses suggested that inflammatory markers were cross-sectionally (TNF-α, p = 0.004) related to reading performance. Conclusions: Our findings are largely negative, but suggest that specific inflammatory markers may have limited associations with poorer cognition and reading performance among community-dwelling adults. Because of multiple testing concerns, our limited positive findings are offered as hypothesis generating and require replication in other studies.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Angela L. Jefferson, PhD
Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Boston University School of Medicine
72 East Concord Street, B-7800
Boston, MA 02118 (USA)
Tel. +1 617 414 1129, E-Mail angelaj@bu.edu

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: February 16, 2011
Accepted: April 21, 2011
Published online: July 13, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 10
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 5, Number of References : 49

 goto top of outline Publication Details


Vol. 37, No. 1, Year 2011 (Cover Date: September 2011)

Journal Editor: Feigin V.L. (Auckland)
ISSN: 0251-5350 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0208 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NED

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