The authors of this study investigated the relationship between markers of inflammation and brain MRI findings in elderly subjects. Specifically they looked at the association of circulating interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels with brain volume, silent brain infarction and white matter hyperintensities in community-dwelling elderly free of dementia. Higher levels of interleukin-6 were associated with lower hippocampal and gray matter volumes, as well as higher CSF and white matter hyperintensity volumes. The authors suggest that these correlations may indicate inflammatory involvement in age-associated brain changes.
Satizabal CL, Zhu YC, Mazoyer B, Dufouil C, Tzourio C: Circulating IL-6 and CRP are associated with MRI findings in the elderly: The 3C-Dijon Study. Neurology [Epub ahead of print, February 22, 2012] doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318248e50f Neurology WNL.0b013e318248e50f