Inflammatory mechanisms underlying the effects of everyday discrimination on age-related memory decline.

TitleInflammatory mechanisms underlying the effects of everyday discrimination on age-related memory decline.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsZahodne, LB, Kraal, Z, Sharifian, N, Zaheed, A, Sol, K
JournalBrain, Behavior & Immunity
Volume75
Pagination149-154
Date Published2019 Jan
ISSN Number1090-2139
KeywordsAgeism, C-reactive protein, Discrimination, Inflammation, Memory
Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Previous research suggests that everyday discrimination is associated with worse episodic memory and partially mediates Black-White disparities in memory aging. The biological mechanisms underlying the link between everyday discrimination and memory are unclear but may involve inflammatory processes. This study aimed to determine whether systemic inflammation, indexed by blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), mediates associations between everyday discrimination and episodic memory over 6 years.

DESIGN: A longitudinal mediation model quantified associations between baseline everyday discrimination, 4-year change in CRP, and 6-year change in episodic memory.

SETTING: The Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

PARTICIPANTS: 12,624 HRS participants aged 51 and older.

MEASUREMENTS: Everyday Discrimination Scale, high-sensitivity CRP assays of dried blood spots, composite scores of immediate and delayed recall of a word list.

RESULTS: Black participants reported greater everyday discrimination. Greater discrimination was associated with lower baseline memory and faster memory decline. Higher CRP at baseline partially mediated the negative association between discrimination and baseline memory, but CRP change did not mediate the association between discrimination and memory decline.

CONCLUSION: This U.S.-representative longitudinal study provides evidence for deleterious effects of discrimination on subsequent episodic memory. The fact that elevated CRP only partially explained the concurrent association between discrimination and memory highlights the need for more comprehensive investigations of biological mechanisms underlying the link between social stress and age-related memory decline in order to better characterize potential intervention targets to reduce racial inequalities in memory aging.

DOI10.1016/j.bbi.2018.10.002
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30367930?dopt=Abstract

Alternate JournalBrain Behav. Immun.
Citation Key9946
PubMed ID30367930
PubMed Central IDPMC6279484
Grant ListR00 AG047963 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG054520 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States