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Reduced telomere length in neurodegenerative disorders may suggest shared biology.

Authors: Lakshmi Narayanan LN. Kota, Srikala S. Bharath, Meera M. Purushottam, Nagaraj S NS. Moily, Palanimuthu Thangaraju PT. Sivakumar, Mathew M. Varghese, Pramod Kumar PK. Pal, Sanjeev S. Jain
Published: 12/26/2014, The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences


Early cell death is a feature of neurodegenerative disorders. Telomere shortening is related to premature cellular senescence and could be a marker for cellular pathology in neurological diseases. Relative telomere length in dementia (N=70), Huntington's disease (N=35), ataxia telangiectasia (N=9), and age-group matched control samples (N=105) was measured as relative telomere copy/single copy gene ratios. Individuals with Huntington's disease had the lowest relative telomere copy/single copy gene ratio (0.21), followed by ataxia telangiectasia (0.31) and dementia (0.48). The younger control group had the highest relative telomere copy/single copy gene ratio (1.07). The reduced telomere length could be indicative of shared biological pathways across these disorders contributing to cellular senescence.

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