C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation and vascular disease, appears to be associated with poorer performance in executive function, according to a study by German researchers (Wersching H et al. Neurology. 2010;74:1022-1029).
The study involved 447 stroke-free individuals aged 40 to 85 years (mean age of 63 years), none of whom had dementia. On a test of executive function that took an average of 85 seconds to complete, participants with the highest nonfasting blood levels of CRP (exceeding 0.3 mg/dL) took an average of 7 seconds longer to finish than those with the lowest CRP levels (less than 0.1mg/dL). CRP levels were not associated with differences in verbal memory or word fluency.
Stephenson J. Dementia and C-Reactive Protein. JAMA. 2010;303(15):1470. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.477