Background: This study explored the combined impact of depression and inflammation on memory functioning among Mexican-American adults and elders. Methods: Data were analyzed from 381 participants of the Health and Aging Brain study among Latino Elders (HABLE). Fasting serum samples were collected and assayed in duplicate using electrochemiluminesce on the SECTOR Imager 2400A from Meso Scale Discovery. Positive DepE (depression endophenotype) was codified as any score >1 on a five-point scale based on the GDS-30. Inflammation was determined by TNFα levels and categorized by tertiles (1st, 2nd, 3rd). WMS-III LMI and LMII as well as CERAD were utilized as measures of memory. ANOVAs examined group differences between positive DepE and inflammation tertiles with neuropsychological scale scores as outcome variables. Logistic regressions were used to examine level of inflammation and DepE positive status on the risk for MCI. Results: Positive DepE as well as higher inflammation were both independently found to be associated with lower memory scores. Among DepE positive, those who were high in inflammation (3rd tertile) were found to perform significantly worse on WMS-III LM I (F = 4.75, p = 0.003), WMS-III LM II (F = 8.18, p < 0.001), and CERAD List Learning (F = 17.37, p < 0.001) when compared to those low on inflammation (1st tertile). The combination of DepE positive and highest tertile of inflammation was associated with increased risk for MCI diagnosis (OR = 6.06; 95% CI = 3.9-11.2, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Presence of elevated inflammation and positive DepE scores increased risk for worse memory among Mexican-American older adults. Additionally, the combination of DepE and high inflammation was associated with increased risk for MCI diagnosis. This work suggests that depression and inflammation are independently associated with worse memory among Mexican-American adults and elders; however, the combination of both increases risk for poorer memory beyond either alone.
- depression endophenotype (DepE)
- mild cognitive impairment