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Hypertension, Infection and Inflammation and their Effects on Memory and Visuospatial Skills in Ageing
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Blood pressure has previously been associated with decline in memory over time, though the exact mechanism behind this effect is uncertain. Infections, which can lead to systemic inflammation have also been linked to some cardiovascular damage to the brain, known as microbleeds, which have themselves been linked to greater declines in cognition in old age. The present study investigates whether blood pressure, a self-reported history of infection, and an indirect measure of inflammation known as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate have any association with on episodic and semantic memory and visuospatial skills in the Betula study, a Swedish longitudinal population study. The effect of elevated blood pressure (over 140 mm Hg systolic and/or 90 mm Hg diastolic), high blood sedimentation (top 33% against bottom 33% of participants), and self-reported infection were all found to not have any significant effect on episodic memory, semantic memory or visuospatial skills. Some of the possible explanations are elaborated in the discussion.

Abstract [sv]

Högt blodtryck har associerats med minnesnedsättning men den exakta mekanismen hur ett samband kan förstås är dock oklar. Infektioner har visat sig ge systematiska inflammationer och har också satts i samband med vissa kardiovaskulära förändringar i hjärnan, så kallade mikroblödningar, vilka i sig har associerats med ökad risk för kognitive nedsättning i hög ålder. Denna uppsats syftar till att undersöka om blodtryck och infektion (självrapporterad infektion samt infektion indirekt mätt genom sänkereaktion) kan relateras till episodiskt och semantisk minne samt visuospatial förmåga i Betula studien, som är en svensk longitudinell populationsbaserad studie. Resultatet visade att varken högt blodtryck (över 140 mm Hg systoliskt eller 90 mm Hg diastoliskt), hög sänkereaktion (de 33 % med högst värde jämfört med de 33 % med lägst värde) eller självrapporterad infektion hade någon signifikant effekt för episodiskt minne, semantiskt minne eller visuospatial förmåga. Några möjliga förklaringar till detta resultat utvecklas i diskussionen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 21 p.
Keyword [en]
ageing, aging, blood pressure, infection, inflammation, betula
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-122132OAI: diva2:937983
Subject / course
Masteruppsats i kognitionsvetenskap
Educational program
Master's Programme in Cognitive Science
The Betula Study
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-15 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved

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