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Could inflammation in middle age predict dementia?

inflammation in midlife


Recently published study concludes that inflammation within our 40s and 50s may be linked with greater brain shrinkage decades afterwards. The connections between dementia and inflammation grow more powerful.

As the population gets steadily elderly, the amount of individuals living with dementia is growing. In 2006, 26.6 million individuals worldwide had Alzheimer’s disease, that’s the most frequent type of dementia. By 2050, that figure is expected to quadruple. To put that into perspective, that equates to 1 in 85 people.

There are currently drugs available to treat dementia, however they’re only able to lessen symptoms. There’s absolutely no cure.

Among the most significant issues facing researchers is that dementia requires several years to grow, and, in this growth period, there are frequently little or no signs. This usually means that dementia is almost always captured at an advanced phase. It’s thus tricky to work backward so as to comprehend the specific causes.

Particular risk factors are proven — for example, people who have a single copy of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) e4 gene are at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as are those who smoke and people with higher blood pressure and diabetes — but those don’t offer the entire picture.

Inflammation as a risk factor for dementia

One growing area of interest for dementia investigators is inflammation. Some scientists think that inflammation previously on in life may establish a cascade of events which, over time, may cause brain shrinkage and dementia.

Infection has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Its connection with melancholy has also recently come out. If inflammation may have implications for brain function, it’s likely that it might have a long-term effect on the construction of the mind, also.