Systemic inflammation, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: findings from the PREVENT study




DeCarlo, Correne A.

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The search for reliable early indicators of age-related cognitive decline represents an important avenue in aging research. Most research on late-life development charts cognitive change as a function of chronological age (CA), however, although CA is a commonly used developmental index, it offers little insight into the mechanisms underlying cognitive decline. In contrast, biological age (BioAge), reflecting the vitality of essential biological processes, represents a promising operationalization of developmental time. My overall programmatic doctoral research interests involve the identification of biological risk factors that predict age-related cognitive decline, impairment and dementia. In this dissertation document, I present: an overview of my empirical contributions to the BioAge and cognitive aging literature throughout my doctoral training; the dissertation project which uses preliminary data from the PREVENT study and provides evidence that elevated plasma pro-inflammatory proteins are associated with cognitive status (healthy controls (HC) vs Alzheimer’s disease dementia (AD)), cognitive performance and are related to poorer cognitive performance in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI); and a discussion on the broad implications of the project results and future directions in BioAge research.



Inflammation, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's disease, Biological Aging