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Front. Aging Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00380

Blood markers in Healthy-aged Nonagenarians: A combination of high telomere length and low amyloidβ are strongly associated with healthy ageing in the oldest old.

 Gorka Fernández-Eulate1, 2,  Ainhoa Alberro2,  Maider Muñoz-Culla2, Miren Zulaica2, Monica Zufiria2, Myriam Barandiaran1, Igone Etxeberria3, José Javier Yanguas4, Maria Mercedes Gallardo5, Nora Soberón5, Ana María Lacosta6, Jesús Canudas6, Virginia Pérez-Grijalba6, Noelia Fandós6, Pedro Pesini6, Manuel Sarasa6, Begoña Indakoetxea1, Fermin Moreno1, Itziar Vergara2,  David Otaegui2, Maria Blasco5 and Adolfo López de Munain1, 2, 7, 8*
  • 1Hospital Universitario Donostia, Spain
  • 2Biodonostia Health Research Institute, Spain
  • 3Facultad de Psicologia, Universidad del Pais Vasco, Spain
  • 4Matia Fundazioa, Spain
  • 5Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas CNIO - Fundación Cáncer FUCA, Spain
  • 6Araclon Biotech, Spain
  • 7Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Spain
  • 8Facultad de Medicina y Enfermeria, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain

Many factors may converge in healthy ageing in the oldest old, but their association and predictive power on healthy o functionally impaired ageing has yet to be demonstrated. By detecting healthy ageing and in turn, poor ageing, we could take action to prevent chronic diseases associated with age. We conducted a pilot study comparing results of a set of markers (peripheral blood mononuclear cell telomere length or PBMC, circulating Aβ peptides, anti-Aβ antibodies, and ApoE status) previously associated with poor ageing or cognitive deterioration, and their combinations, in a cohort of “neurologically healthy” (both motor and cognitive) nonagenarians (n=20) and functionally impaired, institutionalized nonagenarians (n=38) recruited between 2014 and 2015. We recruited 58 nonagenarians (41 women, 70.7%; mean age: 92.37 years in the neurologically healthy group vs 94.13 years in the functionally impaired group). Healthy nonagenarians had significantly higher mean PBMC telomere lengths (mean=7, p=0.001), this being inversely correlated with functional impairment, and lower circulating Aβ40 (total in plasma fraction or TP and free in plasma fraction or FP), Aβ42 (TP and FP) and Aβ17 (FP) levels (FP40 131.35, p=0.004; TP40 299.10, p=0.007; FP42 6.29, p=0.009; TP42 22.53, p=0.019; FP17 1.32 p=0.001; TP17 4.47, p=0.3), after adjusting by age. Although healthy nonagenarians had higher anti-Aβ40 antibodies levels (net adsorbed signal or NAS +/- SD: 0.211 +/- 0.107), the number of participants that pass the threshold (NAS>3) to be considered as positive did not show such a strong association. There was no association with ApoE status. Additionally, we propose a “Composite Neurologically Healthy Ageing Score” combining TP40 and mean telomere length, the strongest correlation of measured biomarkers with neurologically healthy status in nonagenarians (AUC=0.904).

Keywords: Ageing, Composite Neurologically Healthy Aging Score, Telomere, Amyloid - beta- protein, Elders

Received: 30 Jul 2018; Accepted: 31 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Ashok Kumar, University of Florida, United States

Reviewed by:

Munis Dundar, Erciyes University, Turkey
Amit Bhardwaj, Langone Medical Center, New York University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Fernández-Eulate, Alberro, Muñoz-Culla, Zulaica, Zufiria, Barandiaran, Etxeberria, Yanguas, Gallardo, Soberón, Lacosta, Canudas, Pérez-Grijalba, Fandós, Pesini, Sarasa, Indakoetxea, Moreno, Vergara, Otaegui, Blasco and López de Munain. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Adolfo López de Munain, Hospital Universitario Donostia, San Sebastian, Spain,