Research Topic

Cognitive Impairment and Inflammation in Old Age and the Role of Modifiable Risk Factors of Neurocognitive Disorders

About this Research Topic

There is a well‐established association between neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. Cognitive impairment is an intermediate stage between normal cognitive aging and neurocognitive disorders. Although diagnosing subclinical cognitive impairment is essential for identifying individuals at high risk of neurocognitive disorders, this task is complex and challenging due to a lack of standardized diagnostic criteria. Cognitive impairment varies from strict clinical criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to definitions of cognitive decline used in population-based studies, which cover a broader range of dysfunctions. Peripheral inflammatory markers were demonstrated high in patients with MCI in clinical studies. However, epidemiological studies have reported conflicting results due to several potentially modifiable risk factors associated with long-term higher levels of inflammatory markers.

Therefore, a better understanding of the association between peripheral inflammatory markers and cognitive impairment is needed and novel perspectives are required to further understanding of the impact of either strict clinical criteria such as MCI or broader definitions used in epidemiological studies such as cognitive decline and their interaction with modifiable risk factors such as education level, hypertension, obesity, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, diabetes and air pollution.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to provide a multi-disciplinary survey on the latest research on cognitive impairment using both clinical strict criteria for MCI and cognitive decline, broader range of dysfunctions definitions used in epidemiological studies and their relationships with peripheral inflammatory markers, in order to better understand the role of inflammation on the cognitive impairment in old age. Furthermore, we aim to highlight the potential of interacting or mediating aspects of education level, hypertension, obesity, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, diabetes and air pollution on association between cognitive impairment and peripheral inflammatory markers as an early intervention strategy for age-related cognitive decline and neurocognitive disorders in the future.

To fulfill these aims, coordinated efforts of multiple research disciplines including neuroscience, neurology, genetics, epidemiology, pharmacology, medical informatics, and computer science are required. Thus, this Research Topic seeks multidisciplinary contributions that will improve our understanding of the relationship between cognitive impairment and inflammation with a particular focus on modifiable risk factors of neurocognitive disorders.

All types of manuscripts (original research, literature review, clinical trials, and methods) addressing the topics listed below will be considered:

• improving the accuracy in defining cognitive impairment in old age;
• determining and improving the epidemiology of cognitive impairment using different criteria (DSM-5. RDC, ICD-11);
• determining most common peripheral inflammatory markers used in physical and mental health and their physiopathology;
• determining peripheral inflammatory markers for cognitive impairment;
• investigating if all types of cognitive impairment were associated with peripheral markers;
• determining peripheral inflammatory markers for the progression to neurocognitive disorders and accounted for many covariates;
• determining markers of neuroinflammation and their association with neurocognitive disorders;
• determining the association between peripheral inflammatory markers, structural and molecular brain changes related to neurocognitive disorders;
• Determining the association between peripheral inflammatory markers with different neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson disease dementia;
• determining the association between acute or chronic inflammatory disorders with cognitive impairment and neurocognitive disorders;
• establishing interactions and mediations of modifiable risk factors of neurocognitive disorders;
• taking advantage of big datasets to tackle hidden relationships in clinical and epidemiological studies.


Keywords: inflammation, aging, cognitive impairment, neurodegenerative diseases, MCI


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

There is a well‐established association between neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. Cognitive impairment is an intermediate stage between normal cognitive aging and neurocognitive disorders. Although diagnosing subclinical cognitive impairment is essential for identifying individuals at high risk of neurocognitive disorders, this task is complex and challenging due to a lack of standardized diagnostic criteria. Cognitive impairment varies from strict clinical criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to definitions of cognitive decline used in population-based studies, which cover a broader range of dysfunctions. Peripheral inflammatory markers were demonstrated high in patients with MCI in clinical studies. However, epidemiological studies have reported conflicting results due to several potentially modifiable risk factors associated with long-term higher levels of inflammatory markers.

Therefore, a better understanding of the association between peripheral inflammatory markers and cognitive impairment is needed and novel perspectives are required to further understanding of the impact of either strict clinical criteria such as MCI or broader definitions used in epidemiological studies such as cognitive decline and their interaction with modifiable risk factors such as education level, hypertension, obesity, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, diabetes and air pollution.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to provide a multi-disciplinary survey on the latest research on cognitive impairment using both clinical strict criteria for MCI and cognitive decline, broader range of dysfunctions definitions used in epidemiological studies and their relationships with peripheral inflammatory markers, in order to better understand the role of inflammation on the cognitive impairment in old age. Furthermore, we aim to highlight the potential of interacting or mediating aspects of education level, hypertension, obesity, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, diabetes and air pollution on association between cognitive impairment and peripheral inflammatory markers as an early intervention strategy for age-related cognitive decline and neurocognitive disorders in the future.

To fulfill these aims, coordinated efforts of multiple research disciplines including neuroscience, neurology, genetics, epidemiology, pharmacology, medical informatics, and computer science are required. Thus, this Research Topic seeks multidisciplinary contributions that will improve our understanding of the relationship between cognitive impairment and inflammation with a particular focus on modifiable risk factors of neurocognitive disorders.

All types of manuscripts (original research, literature review, clinical trials, and methods) addressing the topics listed below will be considered:

• improving the accuracy in defining cognitive impairment in old age;
• determining and improving the epidemiology of cognitive impairment using different criteria (DSM-5. RDC, ICD-11);
• determining most common peripheral inflammatory markers used in physical and mental health and their physiopathology;
• determining peripheral inflammatory markers for cognitive impairment;
• investigating if all types of cognitive impairment were associated with peripheral markers;
• determining peripheral inflammatory markers for the progression to neurocognitive disorders and accounted for many covariates;
• determining markers of neuroinflammation and their association with neurocognitive disorders;
• determining the association between peripheral inflammatory markers, structural and molecular brain changes related to neurocognitive disorders;
• Determining the association between peripheral inflammatory markers with different neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson disease dementia;
• determining the association between acute or chronic inflammatory disorders with cognitive impairment and neurocognitive disorders;
• establishing interactions and mediations of modifiable risk factors of neurocognitive disorders;
• taking advantage of big datasets to tackle hidden relationships in clinical and epidemiological studies.


Keywords: inflammation, aging, cognitive impairment, neurodegenerative diseases, MCI


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

28 January 2021 Abstract
28 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

28 January 2021 Abstract
28 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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