Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Long telomeres can be linked to poorer memory

26.04.2010
A team of collaborating researchers from the Swedish universities of Umeå, Stockholm, and Linköping is now publishing data showing that long telomeres in non-demented adults and seniors can be associated with poorer memory.

The end portions of chromosomes, telomeres, are important in protecting the genes inside. Every time a cell divides, these telomeres become shorter. After multiple cell divisions, the telomeres become so short that the cell either self-dies or wind up in an aged, resting stage. Measurement of telomere lengths therefore provides information about how many times the cells has divided in the past.

This new study is part of the major Betula Project, which, according to the Swedish Research Council, is one of the ten strongest research settings in Sweden and has the goal of studying how the memory changes during aging. It comprises 427 non-demented individuals between the ages of 41 and 81 years. The scientists studied whether individuals with different forms of apolipoprotein E (APOE) have different telomere lengths in their blood cells and whether variations in telomere length is linked to memory capacity, assessed with the help of memory tests. Previous research has described the connection between the form of APOE 4 and cardiovascular disease and dementia. It has also been shown that this variant increases the risk of a type of memory degradation that is most pronounced in older individuals without dementia. This is a degradation of memory in the so-called episodic memory system, which, in simple terms, has the assignment of remembering episodes in life.

In summary the newly published study shows that individuals with APOE 4 have longer telomeres than those with other APOE variants. It was also found that the difference in telomere length between APOE 4 and other APOE variants increased the younger the individuals compared were. In the group that had the variant APOE 4 the individuals with the longest telomeres performed less well on episodic memory tests but not on other tests.

The APOE protein plays a central role in transporting and metabolizing blood fats, but the various forms also appear to have different effects on other processes in the body. The 4 variant is linked with worse blood fats, more inflammation, and increased oxidative stress compared with the 2 and 3 variants. It has previously been shown that both inflammation and oxidative stress lead to shorter telomere length. It was therefore surprising that individuals with the 4 variant had longer telomeres than individuals with the other APOE forms. The longer telomeres support the notion that the cells have undergone a lower number of cell divisions and that the differences in length arose at some time prior to the lower age limit for the study. Such reduced cell division early in life may be an explanation for the worse episodic memory of people with the 4 variant compared with that of individuals with other variants. More studies are needed to confirm these findings and to determine through what mechanisms long telomeres are associated with poorer episodic memory and with any other possible APOE 4-associated processes in the body.

The researchers behind the study are Karl-Fredrik Norrback, Rolf Adolfsson, Göran Roos, and Lars Nyberg at Umeå University; Lars-Göran Nilsson, Stockholm University; and Thomas Karlsson, Linköping University, as well as doctoral candidate Mikael Wikgren. The project coordinator Annelie Nordin has also been important for the conducting of the study.

For more information, please contact: Karl-Fredrik Norrback, MD, PhD, Dept. of Clinical Science, Division of Psychiatry, Umeå University, Mobile phone: +46 (0)70-441 5904, e-mail: karl-fredrik.norrback@psychiat.umu.se

Pressofficer Hans Fällman; hans.fallman@adm.umu.se; +46-70 691 28 29

Reference: Wikgren M, Karlsson T, Nilbrink T, Nordfjäll K, Hultdin J, Sleegers K, Van Broeckhoven C, Nyberg L, Roos G, Nilsson LG, Adolfsson R, Norrback KF APOE epsilon4 is associated with longer telomeres, and longer telomeres among epsilon4 carriers predicts worse episodic memory, Neurobiology of Aging, 2010 Apr 13 (10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.03.004).

Hans Fällman | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

Further reports about: apoE blood cell cell division episodic memory oxidative stress

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>