CRP Levels Associated With Thinking Problems

A neurological study has found that increase levels of CRP are associated with thinking problems in executives.  This study measured skills such as decision making, planning and memory.  The finding suggested that participants with the highest CRP levels took longer to complete the tests.   

The CRP blood tests is typically used to measure inflammation in the blood and is also known as an indicator of heart attack risk.  This new research suggests ties to other functions including neurological health.  We believe that monitoring CRP levels through periodic blood testing is going to prove more and more valuable as more research such as this is released.

 Blood Gives Clues to ‘Executive Thinking’ Problems

High levels of C-reactive protein may affect decision-making and self-control

 MONDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) — High blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with problems in executive thinking skills, such as planning, decision-making and self-control, says a German study.

CRP is considered an indicator of inflammation.

For the study, 447 older people underwent brain scans and were given tests of verbal memory, word fluency and executive function. Overall, the average time to complete the test of executive function was 85 seconds. But participants with the highest levels of CRP took an average of seven seconds longer to complete the test than those with the lowest CRP levels.

The researchers also found that those with the highest CRP levels had brain changes equivalent to 12 more years of aging than those with the lowest CRP levels.

There was no link between CRP levels and other cognitive functions, such as memory and language.

The study is in the March 30 issue of Neurology.

“The use of aspirin and (cholesterol-lowering) statin drugs, as well as physical activity and controlling weight, can help lower CRP levels in the body, but our analyses did not consider whether therapy would be effective or not,” Dr. Heike Wersching of the University of Munster, an author of the study, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

More information

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry has more about C-reactive protein.

— Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, March 29, 2010

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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