Early adulthood stress linked to cognitive decline in middle age


Researchers at the University of California - San Francisco found that chronic inflammation in young adulthood significantly increases the risk of cognitive decline in middle age.

Using data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, they tracked inflammation levels of 2,364 participants four times over a period of 18 years, followed by cognitive performance five years after the last measurement. They found that consistently high or increasing levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker, were linked to poorer performance in processing speed and executive function in middle age. This study, published in the journal Neurology this month, highlights the importance of addressing inflammation early, suggesting that lifestyle choices such as physical activity, diet and smoking cessation can have long-term impacts on brain health and dementia prevention.


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