Two studies conducted by the Barcelona Beta Brain Research Center (BBRC), a research center of the Pascual Malagall Foundation, involved participants in the ALFA study promoted by the ‘La Caixa’ foundation and found that telomere length Roles are evaluated.Markers of biological age, risk of neurodegenerative diseases and Alzheimer’s diseaseThe results of this study indicate that genetic mutations associated with longer telomere length may be associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These genetic variants were associated with decreased levels of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, such as the p-tau protein, and increased cortical thickness in cognitively healthy people with a high genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease. .
“Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences located at the ends of chromosomes. Their main function is to protect telomeres and prevent wear and tear.” BBRC researcher Blanca Rodríguez-Fernández, lead author of both studies, explains: “Over time, telomeres shorten each time a cell divides, so telomere length is considered an indicator of biological age,” she adds.
The first study, published in the Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, suggests genetic mutations associated with longer telomeres. It may have a protective effect against the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and is significantly associated with increased life expectancy.
MeA second study, published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy and published in collaboration with researchers from the Institute for Biomedical Research at Bellvitge Hospital, analyzed this possible relationship through the brain., cognitive and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration. This pioneering study used samples from participants in his ALFA study, a cohort containing a population of cognitively healthy individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The main results of this study reveal an important link between longer telomere length and genetic variants that predict reduced levels of several Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers., ptau protein, etc. Furthermore, inheriting longer telomeres is associated with increased cortical thickness among people with a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
Natalia Vilor-Tejedor, a senior collaborator on the study and leader of the BBRC Neurobiogenetics team, explains: “Gene variants associated with longer telomere length may protect brain structures through multiple mechanisms, either in regions affected primarily by processes associated with Alzheimer’s disease or aging itself.”.
Continuation of these studies is key to understanding the role of telomere length in the development of Alzheimer’s diseaseAs BBRC collaborator and project co-leader Dr. Marta Crous-Bou points out, the findings are positive, but “these include participants at different stages of disease development, It should also be replicated in larger cohorts, as a follow-up and additional observational analysis of ALFA study participants to better understand the results obtained and the underlying biological mechanisms.”
Rodríguez-Fernández, B., Gispert, JD, Guigo, R., Navarro, A., Vilor-Tejedor, N. & Crous-Bou, M. (2022b). Relationships with degenerative diseases and life expectancy. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, 20, 4251-4256. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csbj.2022.08.006
Rodríguez-Fernández, B., Vilor-Tejedor, N., Arenaza-Urquijo, EM, Sánchez-Benavides, G., Suárez-Calvet, M., Operto, G., Minguillón, C., Fauria, K., Kollmorgen , G., Suridjan, I., de Moura, MC, Piñeyro, D., Esteller, M., Blennow, K., Zetterberg, H., De Vivo, I., Molinuevo, JL, Navarro, A., Gispert , J.D., Sala-Vila, A., Crous-Bou M. (2022). Genetically predicted telomere length and the endophenotype of Alzheimer’s disease: a Mendelian randomized study. Research and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13195-022-01101-9
About Alzheimer’s disease
A new case of dementia is diagnosed every three seconds worldwide and it is estimated that 50 million people are currently suffering from dementia, mostly due to Alzheimer’s disease. In Spain, this figure translates to her over 900,000 people affected. As the latest World Alzheimer Report 2018, published by Alzheimer’s Disease International, notes that life expectancy is increasing, the number of cases could drop to 3 by 2050 if no treatment is found to prevent or slow the progression of the disease. It can double and reach epidemic proportions. .
About the Barcelona βeta Brain Research Center and the Pascual Malagall Foundation The Barcelona βeta
The Brain Research Center (BBRC) is a research center of the Pascual Malagal Foundation, promoted by the “La Caixa” Foundation since its inception, dedicated to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and the study of cognitive functions affected by healthy and morbid aging. doing. The Pascual Malagall Foundation is a non-profit organization established in April 2008 in response to the commitment of former Barcelona Mayor and former Catalonia President Pascual Malagall when he publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with an illness. Alzheimer’s disease. The Foundation’s mission is to advance research to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and provide solutions that improve the quality of life for those affected and their caregivers.