Peripheral inflammatory biomarkers are associated with cognitive function and dementia: Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort

Jiachen Chen, Margaret F. Doyle, Yuan Fang, Jesse Mez, Paul K. Crane, Phoebe Scollard, Claudia L. Satizabal, Michael L. Alosco, Wei Qiao Qiu, Joanne M. Murabito, Kathryn L. Lunetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Inflammatory protein biomarkers induced by immune responses have been associated with cognitive decline and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we investigate associations between a panel of inflammatory biomarkers and cognitive function and incident dementia outcomes in the well-characterized Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort. Participants aged ≥40 years and dementia-free at Exam 7 who had a stored plasma sample were selected for profiling using the OLINK proteomics inflammation panel. Cross-sectional associations of the biomarkers with cognitive domain scores (N = 708, 53% female, 22% apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 carriers, 15% APOE ε2 carriers, mean age 61) and incident all-cause and AD dementia during up to 20 years of follow-up were tested. APOE genotype-stratified analyses were performed to explore effect modification. Higher levels of 12 and 3 proteins were associated with worse executive function and language domain factor scores, respectively. Several proteins were associated with more than one cognitive domain, including IL10, LIF-R, TWEAK, CCL19, IL-17C, MCP-4, and TGF-alpha. Stratified analyses suggested differential effects between APOE ε2 and ε4 carriers: most ε4 carrier associations were with executive function and memory domains, whereas most ε2 associations were with the visuospatial domain. Higher levels of TNFB and CDCP1 were associated with higher risks of incident all-cause and AD dementia. Our study found that TWEAK concentration was associated both with cognitive function and risks for AD dementia. The association of these inflammatory biomarkers with cognitive function and incident dementia may contribute to the discovery of therapeutic interventions for the prevention and treatment of cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13955
JournalAging cell
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cognitive aging
  • peripheral inflammation
  • protein biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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