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Dementia

Severe infections as a gateway to dementia

A study in Nature Aging on electronic health records from 1.7 million people in New Zealand reveals that most patients with dementia have a history of hospital-treated infection. In a dementia-free population, individuals with a severe infection were at a threefold-higher risk of dementia even 25 years later.

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Fig. 1: Mechanisms that link infections and increased risk of dementia.

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Acknowledgements

M.K. was supported by the Wellcome Trust (221854/Z/20/Z), National Institute on Aging (NIA) (R01AG056477), Medical Research Council (MR/R024227/1, MR/Y014154/1) and Academy of Finland (350426). K.A.W. was supported by the NIA’s Intramural Research Program. This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award in Science and the NIA Intramural Research Program.

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Correspondence to Mika Kivimäki.

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Kivimäki, M., Walker, K.A. Severe infections as a gateway to dementia. Nat Aging 4, 752–754 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43587-024-00643-x

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