Association of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus with cognitive functioning and risk of dementia in the general population: 11-year follow-up study

Minna Torniainen-Holm, Jaana Suvisaari, Maija Lindgren, Tommi Härkänen, Faith Dickerson, Robert H Yolken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Earlier studies have documented an association between cytomegalovirus and cognitive impairment, but results have been inconsistent. Few studies have investigated the association of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus with cognitive decline longitudinally. Our aim was to examine whether cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus are associated with cognitive decline in adults. Method: The study sample is from the Finnish Health 2000 Survey (BRIF8901, n = 7112), which is representative of the Finnish adult population. The sample was followed up after 11 years in the Health 2011 Survey. In addition, persons with dementia were identified from healthcare registers. Results: In the Finnish population aged 30 and over, the seroprevalence of cytomegalovirus was estimated to be 84% and the seroprevalence of Epstein-Barr virus 98%. Seropositivity of the viruses and antibody levels were mostly not associated with cognitive performance. In the middle-aged adult group, cytomegalovirus serointensity was associated with impaired performance in verbal learning. However, the association disappeared when corrected for multiple testing. No interactions between infection and time or between the two infections were significant when corrected for multiple testing. Seropositivity did not predict dementia diagnosis. Conclusions: The results suggest that adult levels of antibodies to cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus may not be associated with a significant decline in cognitive function or with dementia at population level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • CMV
  • Cognition
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Dementia
  • EBV
  • Epstein-Barr
  • Neuropsychology
  • Prevalence
  • Viral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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