Knee pain a predictor of accelerated brain aging?

The findings suggest that chronic knee pain may not only affect an individual’s mobility and quality of life but also their cognitive health and risk of developing dementia later in life. This discovery underscores the importance of early detection and intervention strategies for KOA, as well as the need for a more holistic approach to pain management that considers the potential long-term impacts on brain health.

But what is driving this accelerated brain aging in individuals with KOA? To answer this question, researchers delved into the genetic landscape, identifying a specific gene, SLC39A8, as a shared link between KOA and accelerated brain aging. This gene is particularly expressed in microglial cells and astrocytes, two types of cells in the brain that play essential roles in inflammation and neurodevelopment.