Objective. The aim of this study is to assess a possible relationship between telomere length and cognitive function in old healthy subjects. Methods. We analysed data from 132 healthy subjects (74 females; 58 males) age 60 to 97 years recruited within the framework of the European ZincAge Consortium. Peripheral blood was collected in EDTA and PBMCs were separated by ficoll-Histopaque gradient centrifugation. Telomere length were assessed by High-throughput quantitative FISH (Q-FISH). A decisional tree that uses as expansion method CHAID was used to stratify subjects and the association between telomere length and cognitive decline was evaluated. Results. The shorting of telomeres observed with advancing age correlated with cognitive decline (MMSE), especially in subjects 65-80 yrs of age (r = 0.267; p <0.05) (including males and females). A telomere length of ≤ 11.22 kb is associated with a severe cognitive impairment in 44.9% of cases. Conclusions. The determination of telomere shortening in leukocytes may reflect degenerative neurological condition and could be a useful tool coupled with MMSE screening test to determine cognitive decline in elderly.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Giornale di Gerontologia|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology