Older adults' self-reported prospective memory lapses in everyday life: Connections to inflammation and gender

Erin E. Harrington, Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland, Martin J. Sliwinski, Karina Van Bogart, Jacqueline A. Mogle, Mindy J. Katz, Richard B. Lipton, Christopher G. Engeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Limited research has focused on the association between inflammatory markers and features of subjective cognitive functioning among older adults. The present work examined links between inflammation and a specific subjective cognitive report: prospective memory (PM), or our memory for future intentions, such as attending an appointment or taking medication. Method: We assessed self-reported PM lapses using a two-week ecological momentary assessment (EMA) diary protocol via smartphone as well as levels of blood-based inflammation among 231 dementia-free older adults (70–90 years, 66% women) enrolled in the Einstein Aging Study. Results: Overall, PM lapses were largely unrelated to inflammatory markers. However, a significant gender difference was observed in the link between basal levels of interleukin (IL)-8 and PM lapses: higher levels of basal IL-8 were associated with more PM lapses among men (estimate = 0.98, 95%CI: [0.43, 1.53], p < .001) but not women (estimate = −0.03, 95%CI: [−0.45, 0.39], p = .826). No other significant relationships between PM lapses and basal or stimulated (ex vivo) cytokine levels (IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-α]) or C-reactive protein (CRP) emerged. Conclusion: Elevated levels of IL-8 in older men may possibly be an early indicator of neurodegeneration that relates to PM performance. Future studies should continue to examine PM and inflammation across genders to identify possible mechanisms through which these constructs may indicate neurodegeneration and dementia risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111489
JournalJournal of psychosomatic research
StatePublished - Nov 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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