According to this study published by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in JAMA Neurology this week, there is a statistical association between Alzheimer’s disease and shorter telomeres via the single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with telomere shortening.
This table shows that the effect was unlikely to be due to random chance because the ‘p-value’ was 0.002. Or that there was roughly only a 2 in a thousand chance this was not a true association. The level of risk was estimated to be increased by 30%.
Based on my theory of aging and disease, I would say this makes sense. Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, decreased immunity (aka cancer), macular degeneration, and a myriad of diseases simply represent senescence and depletion of viable stem cells in all cell types.
To quote me: “There is only one disease, with a thousand faces.” – Dr. Ed Park
I have seem some anecdotal improvement in several patients with Alzheimer’s but who knows if that is marginal, functional improvement from sleep and improved overall quality of life enhancements. It would be great to do a clinical trial someday with telomerase activators!
Even though laypeople and physicians don’t think you make new brain cells, the truth is that the nervous system is constantly remodeling. Please see this podcast on Parkinson’s Disease for more information on neural regeneration