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Shorter telomere length is linked to brain atrophy and white matter hyperintensities
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2014 (English)In: Age and Ageing, ISSN 0002-0729, E-ISSN 1468-2834, Vol. 43, no 2, 212-217 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: leukocyte telomere length (TL) is considered a marker of biological aging. Several studies have investigated the link between leukocyte TL and aging-associated functional attributes of the brain, but no prior study has investigated whether TL can be linked to brain atrophy and white matter hyperintensities (WMHs); two prominent structural manifestations of brain aging. Methods: we investigated whether leukocyte TL was related to brain atrophy and WMHs in a sample of 102 non-demented individuals aged 64-75 years. Results: shorter TL was related to greater degree of subcortical atrophy (beta = -0.217, P = 0.034), but not to cortical atrophy. Furthermore, TL was 371 bp shorter (P = 0.041) in participants exhibiting subcortical WMHs, and 552 bp shorter (P = 0.009) in older participants exhibiting periventricular WMHs. Conclusion: this study provides the first evidence of leukocyte TL being associated with cerebral subcortical atrophy and WMHs, lending further support to the concept of TL as a marker of biological aging, and in particular that of the aging brain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 43, no 2, 212-217 p.
Keyword [en]
brain atrophy, older people, telomere length, white matter hyperintensities
National Category
Geriatrics Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102464DOI: 10.1093/ageing/aft172ISI: 000332028600012OAI: diva2:710778
Swedish Research Council, 2006-4472, 2009-5269, 2009-3413, 345-2003-3883, 315-2004-6977


Available from: 2014-04-08 Created: 2014-04-07 Last updated: 2014-04-09Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Lars-Göran
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Department of Psychology
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