Systemic Inflammation and Cognition in the Elderly

  • Julian Trollor
  • Emmeline Agars


A complex inflammatory cascade is an established part of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and preliminary studies have suggested a link between systemic inflammation and AD. Recent research has extended this theme by examining the influence of systemic inflammation on cognitive function in community-dwelling elderly. Preliminary findings suggest that elevated levels of some inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with poorer cognition at cross-sectional assessment. Longitudinal studies suggest an impact of raised IL-6 and CRP, in terms of both cognitive decline and outcome of dementia. Although findings vary considerably between studies, systemic inflammation may have relevance for cognitive function and cognitive decline in late life. Further comprehensive studies are required to further explore the relationship between systemic inflammation and cognition in the elderly.


Cognition Cytokines Dementia Inflammation Mild cognitive impairment 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brain and Ageing Program, School of PsychiatryUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry, School of PsychiatryUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustraliaand
  3. 3.University of New South WalesUNSW,SydneyAustraliae-mail:

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