Good cognition might run in the family, study says

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 27, 2012

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Resistance to dementia might be hereditary, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in Neurology.

Researchers found that people who have elderly relatives with good cognition and high levels of C-reactive protein are likely to remain free of dementia. That protein is a biomarker for inflammation throughout the body, which generally is associated with increased risk of poor cognitive outcomes.

In the Neurology study, participants who had higher amounts of the protein were about 30% less likely to have relatives with dementia than those with lower levels of the protein (link).

Researchers measured the C-reactive protein levels of 277 male veterans 75 and older without dementia. They asked the men about the cognition of their parents and siblings (a total of 1,329 people). The study found 40 relatives from 37 families had dementia.

An additional 51 men who were 85 or older with no dementia symptoms were interviewed about the cognition of 202 relatives. Nine of the family members had dementia.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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