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Fohner and Co-authors Release Two Articles on the Cognitive Function of Older Adults

Posted: 11/9/2023 (CSDE Research)

CSDE Affiliate Alison Fohner (Epidemiology) and co-authors released two articles related to the cognitive health of older adults. The first, released in Communications Biology is titled “Identification of circulating proteins associated with general cognitive function among middle-aged and older adults“. Identifying circulating proteins associated with cognitive function may point to biomarkers and molecular process of cognitive impairment. Few studies have investigated the association between circulating proteins and cognitive function. Authors identify 246 protein measures quantified by the SomaScan assay as associated with cognitive function (p < 4.9E-5, n up to 7289). Proteins implicated as causes or consequences of AD susceptibility may provide new insight into the potential relationship between immunity and AD susceptibility as well as potential therapeutic targets.

The second article was released in BMC Neurology, titled “The association of upper airway anatomy with cognitive test performance: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis“. Numerous upper airway anatomy characteristics are risk factors for sleep apnea, which affects 26% of older Americans, and more severe sleep apnea is associated with cognitive impairment. This study explores the pathophysiology and links between upper airway anatomy, sleep, and cognition. Three upper airway measures were weakly but significantly associated with higher global cognitive test performance. Sleep apnea did not appear to be the mechanism through which these upper airway and cognition associations were acting. Further research on the selected upper airway measures is recommended.

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