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Infections linked to mental decline in elderly

alking pneumonia." The microorganisms have been associated with atherosclerosis and late onset dementia, including Alzheimer's, which is increasingly considered a vascular disease, Strandberg says.

They found that 79 patients (20.6 percent) had no antibodies to either; 182 (47.5 percent) had antibodies to one of the bacterium; and 122 (31.9 percent) had been infected by both. However, the researchers found no association between bacterial infection and a patient's decline in cognitive powers.

"Either bacteria are not involved, or we could not discern their effects," he says. Because all of the participants suffered from cardiovascular disease, the researchers could not determine whether the ailment played a role independent of the viruses in lowering the cognitive scores of participants.


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Contact: Carole Bullock
carole.bullock@heart.org
214-706-1279
American Heart Association
14-Aug-2003


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