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Mid-life chronic inflammation linked to cognitive decline: Study

IANS  |  New York 

People who have chronic in middle-age may develop cognitive problems in the decades leading up to old age, researchers say.

Chronic is a low-grade that lingers for months or even years throughout the body. It can be caused by like or multiple sclerosis, physical stress or other causes.

Symptoms of the include or stiffness, digestive problems and

"is tough on the body, and can damage joints, internal organs, tissue and cells. It can also lead to heart disease, and cancer," said from the in the US.

"While other studies have looked at and its effects on the brain in older people, our large study investigated beginning in and showed that it may contribute to cognitive decline in the decades leading up to old age," said Walker.

For the study, researchers followed 12,336 people with an average age of 57 for approximately 20 years.

They took blood samples from participants in the beginning of the study, measuring four biomarkers of inflammation: fibrinogen, white blood cell count, von Willebrand factor, and factor VIII.

Three years later, the team measured C-reactive protein, another blood biomarker of inflammation.

Participants' thinking and memory skills were tested at the beginning of the study, six to nine years later, and at the end of the study.

The findings, published in the journal Neurology, showed that the group with the highest levels of inflammation biomarkers had an eight per cent steeper decline in thinking and memory skills than the group with the lowest levels of inflammation biomarkers.

In addition, the group with the highest C-reactive protein levels had a 12 per cent steeper decline in thinking and memory skills than the group with the lowest levels.

Getting regular exercise, following an anti-inflammatory heart healthy diet, and getting enough sleep are some of the ways to reduce chronic inflammation, the study suggested.

--IANS

pb/mag/

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 14 2019. 11:42 IST
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