If cell free DNA is associated with dementia risk, would removing it help? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Higher levels of DNA found circulating in the blood of older people were associated with a higher risk for dementia and frailty, a Johns Hopkins study shows. Peter Abadir, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins and one author of the study, says the idea of simply removing this DNA from the blood may not decrease someone’s risk.

Adadir: I want to think about it more like fever. Yes, you can give Tylenol and remove the fever but there is an infection inside that’s driving something that we don’t know about. Even though people think of aging as a universal phenomenon that it happens to everybody, there is this group of older adults that we used to think this is part of normal aging. It’s okay to be forgetful as you age. It’s okay to fall as you age. Through research we’re starting to recognize that there is something abnormal about this selective group of patients that knowing early on can help us focus our resources.  :34

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.