Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A new study has found that resistance to the disease dementia may be genetic.
The study – published in the journal Neurology – found that some families may have built in protection from developing dementia.
High levels of a protein called CRP, or C-Reactive Protein, may be the source of that defense.
Researchers studied 277 male veterans 75 and older with no signs of dementia and measured their CRP. They also interviewed more than 1,300 relatives of the veterans and found only 40 had dementia.
Then the researchers repeated the study, this time using 51 men who were 85 and older who were dementia free. Again they measured their CRP and surveyed relatives.
In both studies, those with elevated CRP were more than 30 percent less likely to have a relative with dementia.
The authors surmise that the elderly people with elevated levels of the protein and no signs of dementia must somehow be resistant to the disease.
As well as their relatives, outside experts say the results are indeed promising, but more testing is needed.