The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that higher levels of systemic inflammation in a community sample of non-demented subjects older than seventy years of age are associated with reduced diffusion anisotropy in brain white matter and lower cognition. Ninety-five older persons without dementia underwent detailed clinical and cognitive evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging, including diffusion tensor imaging. Systemic inflammation was assessed with a composite measure of commonly used circulating inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor-alpha). Tract-based spatial statistics analyses demonstrated that diffusion anisotropy in the body and isthmus of the corpus callosum was negatively correlated with the composite measure of systemic inflammation, controlling for demographic, clinical and radiologic factors. Visuospatial ability was negatively correlated with systemic inflammation, and diffusion anisotropy in the body and isthmus of the corpus callosum was shown to mediate this association. The findings of the present study suggest that higher levels of systemic inflammation may be associated with lower microstructural integrity in the corpus callosum of non-demented elderly individuals, and this may partially explain the finding of reduced higher-order visual cognition in aging.
Fleischman DA, Arfanakis K, Kelly JF, Rajendran N, Buchman AS, et al. (2010) Regional brain cortical thinning and systemic inflammation in older persons without dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc 58: 1823–1825.
Raz N, Yang Y, Dahle CL, Land S (2012) Volume of white matter hyperintensities in healthy adults: contribution of age, vascular risk factors, and inflammation-related genetic variants. Biochim Biophys Acta 1822: 361–369.
Fornage M, Chiang YA, O'Meara ES, Psaty BM, Reiner AP, et al. (2008) Biomarkers of Inflammation and MRI-Defined Small Vessel Disease of the Brain: The Cardiovascular Health Study. Stroke 39: 1952–1959.
McKhann G, Drachman D, Folstein M, Katzman R, Price D, et al. (1984) Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: report of the NINCDS-ADRDA Work Group under the auspices of Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Neurology 34: 939–944.
Penninx BW, Kritchevsky SB, Yaffe K, Newman AB, Simonsick EM, et al. (2003) Inflammatory markers and depressed mood in older persons: results from the Health, Aging and Body Composition study. Biol Psychiatry 54: 566–572.
Pierpaoli C, Walker L, Irfanoglu MO, Barnett A, Basser PJ, et al.. (2010) TORTOISE: An integrated software package for processing of diffusion MRI data. Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting ISMRM, Stockholm, Sweden, 1597.
Chao YP, Cho KH, Yeh CH, Chou KH, Chen JH, et al. (2009) Probabilistic topography of human corpus callosum using cytoarchitectural parcellation and high angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography. Hum Brain Mapp 30: 3172–3187.
Franceschi C, Capri M, Monti D, Giunta S, Olivieri F, et al. (2007) Inflammaging and anti-inflammaging: A systemic perspective on aging and longevity emerged from studies in humans. Mech Ageing Dev 128: 92–105.
Trollor JN, Smith E, Agars E, Kuan SA, Baune BT, et al. (2012) The association between systemic inflammation and cognitive performance in the elderly: the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study. AGE 34: 1295–1308.
Marsland AL, Petersen KL, Sathanoori R, Muldoon MF, Neumann SA, et al. (2006) Interleukin-6 covaries inversely with cognitive performance among middle-aged community volunteers. Psychosom Med 68: 895–903.
Schneider BA, Pichora-Fuller MK (2000) Implications of perceptual deterioration for cognitive aging research. In: Craik FIM, Salthouse TA, The Handbook of Aging and Cognition (2nd ed). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.