(HealthDay News) – The relatives of cognitively intact elderly men with high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), have a reduced risk of dementia.

Jeremy M. Silverman, PhD, of the Friedman Brain Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues examined the association of CRP with successful cognitive aging in a primary sample of 1,329 parents and siblings of 277 cognitively intact male veteran probands, aged ≥75 years. The association was further assessed in a replication cohort of 202 relatives of 51 cognitively intact probands, aged ≥85 years.

The researchers found that higher CRP levels in probands correlated with a significantly reduced risk of dementia among relatives (hazard ratio, 0.55). The association was similar in the replication sample but was stronger in magnitude (hazard ratio, 0.15).

“Relatives of successful cognitive aging individuals with high levels of CRP are relatively likely to remain free of dementia,” the authors write. “High CRP in successful cognitive aging individuals may constitute a phenotype for familial – and thus possibly genetic – successful cognitive aging.”

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