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Cellular aging is linked to structural changes in the brain

Telomeres on human chromosomes change together with brain structure
To determine the role of telomer length on brain structure scientists measured their length with the DNA of leukocytes from the blood using a polymerase chain reaction. Additionally, they calculated the thickness of the cerebral cortex with MRI scans of study participants. Telomeres are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that become shorter with each cell division. If they become so short that the genes they protect could be damaged, the cell stops dividing and renewing. Consequently, the cell is increasingly unable to perform its functions. This mechanism is one of the ways in which we age. Telomere length is therefore regarded as a marker for the biological age of a person -- in contrast to their chronological age. For two people of the same chronological age, the person with shorter telomeres has an increased risk of developing age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's or cancer, and even a sh…

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