A fellow functional MD, Ken Sharlin MD, alerted me to this article on Facebook. While no surprise to anyone in functional medicine, researchers found that the inflammatory marker, CRP (C reactive protein), correlated with faster cognitive decline in middle age study participants. The cohort study group of over 12,000 men and women to note that as the CRP marker rose, so did the rate of cognitive decline on the tests utilized.
They controlled for demographic factors, vascular factors and other comorbidities. The decline was noted over a 20-year period. While aging itself showed a decline, the higher inflammation levels showed a greater drop.
This study only demonstrates correlation and not necessarily a cause and effect connection. However, many other studies on the effects of inflammation point to at least an indirect relationship between inflammation and neurological decline if not a direct causal connection.
At Sanctuary, we evaluate inflammation in all patients and look for the underlying causes of the inflammation. Besides the brain and cognitive decline, inflammation contributes to cardiovascular risk, metabolic balance, and hormonal balance. When we find toxins, chronic infections, or deficiencies behind the inflammation, we work to lower the inflammation with the best of conventional and functional medicine. With this approach, we not only restore chronic illness, but also prevent the further decline of our patient’s health.
Thanks again to Ken Sharlin MD functional neurologist for this link.
Systemic inflammation during midlife and cognitive change over 20 years
Keenan A. Walker, Rebecca F. Gottesman, Aozhou Wu, David S. Knopman, Alden L. Gross, Thomas H. Mosley, Elizabeth Selvin, B. Gwen Windham
Neurology Feb 2019, 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007094; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007094