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Evidence supports a causal role of telomere length shortening with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease

Disease Prevention Daily

2019 DEC 04 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Disease Prevention Daily -- Investigators publish new report on Alzheimer disease. According to news originating from Beijing, People’s Republic of China, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Increasing evidence shows that telomere length shortening is associated with the risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), pointing to a potential modifiable target for prevention. However, the causality of this association is still not clear.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Peking University: “To investigate the causal relationship between telomere length and AD, we use two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) to assess potential causal inference. We used summary-level data for telomere length (9,190 participants) and AD (71,880 cases and 383,378 controls). We performed two-sample MR analysis with single nucleotide polymorphisms previously identified to be associated with telomere length. The MR analyses were conducted using the inverse-variance-weighted method and complemented with the maximum likelihood, weighted median, weighted mode approaches. MR evidence suggested that shorter telomere length was causally associated with a higher risk for AD (inverse-variance weighted estimate of odds ratio (OR): 1.03 per SD decrease of telomere length, P=1.21*10-2). The maximum likelihood, weighted median, weighted mode yielded a similar pattern of effects.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “The results were similar in sensitivity analyses. Using genetic instruments identified from large-scale genome-wide association study, robust evidence supports a causal role of telomere length shortening with increased risk of AD.”

For more information on this research see: Exploring the Causal Pathway From Telomere Length to Alzheimer’s Disease: An Update Mendelian Randomization Study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2019,10. (Frontiers in Psychiatry - http://frontiersin.org/psychiatry). The publisher for Frontiers in Psychiatry is Frontiers Media S.A.

A free version of this journal article is available at https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00843.

Our news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting Kai Gao, Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Additional authors for this research include Chen Wei, Jin Zhu, Xin Wang, Guoqing Chen, Yangyang Luo, Dai Zhang, Weihua Yue, Hao Yu.

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)