Alzheimer's Assocation Research only
All of
  • Go to
  • Research Center
  • AAIC
  • Journal
  • Grants
  • TrialMatch
  • Press
  • Donate
  • Contact Us
Science and Progress
Clinical Trials
Funding and Collaboration
You can Help
Stay Current
Video and Resources

Text Size

Small text Medium text Large text

Research Grants 2008

To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left side.

2008 Grants - Honig

Changes in Telomere Length and the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Lawrence S. Honig, M.D., Ph.D.
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, New York

2008 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

Aging is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. However, the disease affects people at very different ages. These differences may be due to a variety of biological or environmental factors. Recent studies have found that genetic differences, including differences in the lengths of telomeres (end regions of chromosomes), may play a significant role in aging and the onset of Alzheimer's.

In previous research, Lawrence S. Honig, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues have found that people at greater risk for dementia have shorter telomeres in the DNA (genetic code) for their white blood cells. These cells play an important role in the body's immune system. However, scientists do not know the precise relationship between telomere length and dementia. Nor do scientists know whether telomere length is a stable condition within a particular individual, or whether significant changes occur over time.

For this proposed grant, Dr. Honig and colleagues will collect DNA data from a large clinical study group. Participants in this group have a variety of dementia types. The researchers hope to identify numerous correlations between telomere length and dementia. For example, they will compare multiple DNA samples from particular individuals to see if telomere lengths shorten over time and whether the rate of telomere shortening relates to the onset or progression of dementia. Dr. Honig's team will also compare the telomere lengths of people with early-onset Alzheimer's disease and late-onset Alzheimer's. The researchers hypothesize that DNA from people with early-onset Alzheimer's should show faster telomere shortening than the DNA from people with late-onset Alzheimer's.

Results of this effort could shed new light on the genetic factors underlying Alzheimer's disease. These findings could open up a new therapeutic avenue for diagnosing the disease.

Alzheimer's Association International Conference | July 16-20, 2017, London, England

Abstract Submissions Now Open

The Scientific Program Committee is now accepting submissions for poster
presentations, oral presentations and featured research sessions.