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Short leukocyte telomeres, but not telomere attrition rates, predict memory decline in the 20-year longitudinal Betula study
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9512-3289
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1812-3581
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8114-7615
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
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2021 (English)In: The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, ISSN 1079-5006, E-ISSN 1758-535X, Vol. 76, no 6, p. 955-963Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a proposed biomarker for aging-related disorders, including cognitive decline and dementia. Long-term longitudinal studies measuring intra-individual changes in both LTL and cognitive outcomes are scarce, precluding strong conclusions about a potential aging-related relationship between LTL shortening and cognitive decline. This study investigated associations between baseline levels and longitudinal changes in LTL and memory performance across an up to 20-year follow-up in 880 dementia-free participants from a population-based study (mean baseline age: 56.8 years, range: 40–80; 52% female). Shorter baseline LTL significantly predicted subsequent memory decline (r = .34, 95% confidence interval: 0.06, 0.82), controlling for age, sex, and other relevant covariates. No significant associations were however observed between intra-individual changes in LTL and memory, neither concurrently nor with a 5-year time-lag between LTL shortening and memory decline. These results support the notion of short LTL as a predictive factor for aging-related memory decline, but suggest that LTL dynamics in adulthood and older age may be less informative of cognitive outcomes in aging. Furthermore, the results highlight the importance of long-term longitudinal evaluation of outcomes in biomarker research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2021. Vol. 76, no 6, p. 955-963
Keywords [en]
Cognitive aging, Leukocyte telomere length, Longitudinal, Memory, Population-based
National Category
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences Geriatrics Neurosciences
Research subject
medical behavioral science; Geriatrics; Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-181484DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glaa322ISI: 000659456700002PubMedID: 33367599Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85107088699OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-181484DiVA, id: diva2:1537028
Part of project
Biological mechanisms behind neurocognitive aging and dementia - Longitudinal evaluation of telomere length and epigenetic signatures in interplay with genetic and lifestyle factors, Swedish Research Council
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2018-01729Region Västerbotten, RV-735451, RV-453141, RV-225461Available from: 2021-03-13 Created: 2021-03-13 Last updated: 2024-04-08Bibliographically approved

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Pudas, SaraJosefsson, MariaNordin Adolfsson, AnnelieLandfors, MattiasKauppi, KarolinaHultdin, MagnusAdolfsson, RolfDegerman, Sofie

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Pudas, SaraJosefsson, MariaNordin Adolfsson, AnnelieLandfors, MattiasKauppi, KarolinaHultdin, MagnusAdolfsson, RolfDegerman, Sofie
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Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB)Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR)PsychiatryPathologyDepartment of PsychologyDepartment of Clinical Microbiology
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The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health SciencesGeriatricsNeurosciences

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