Match!

Association of Short-term Change in Leukocyte Telomere Length With Cortical Thickness and Outcomes of Mental Training Among Healthy Adults: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Published on Sep 25, 2019
· DOI :10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.9687
Lara M. Puhlmann1
Estimated H-index: 1
(MPG: Max Planck Society),
Sofie L. Valk8
Estimated H-index: 8
(HHU: University of Düsseldorf)
+ 5 AuthorsTania Singer47
Estimated H-index: 47
(MPG: Max Planck Society)
Abstract
Importance Telomere length is associated with the development of age-related diseases and structural differences in multiple brain regions. It remains unclear, however, whether change in telomere length is linked to brain structure change, and to what extent telomere length can be influenced through mental training. Objectives To assess the dynamic associations between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and cortical thickness (CT), and to determine whether LTL is affected by a longitudinal contemplative mental training intervention. Design, Setting, and Participants An open-label efficacy trial of three 3-month mental training modules with healthy, meditation-naive adults was conducted. Data on LTL and CT were collected 4 times over 9 months between April 22, 2013, and March 31, 2015, as part of the ReSource Project. Data analysis was performed between September 23, 2016, and June 21, 2019. Of 1582 eligible individuals, 943 declined to participate; 362 were randomly selected for participation and assigned to training or retest control cohorts, with demographic characteristics matched. The retest control cohorts underwent all testing but no training. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed. Interventions Training cohort participants completed 3 modules cultivating interoception and attention (Presence), compassion (Affect), or perspective taking (Perspective). Main Outcomes and Measures Change in LTL and CT. Results Of the 362 individuals randomized, 30 participants dropped out before study initiation (initial sample, 332). Data were available for analysis of the training intervention in 298 participants (n = 222 training; n = 76 retest control) (175 women [58.7%]; mean [SD] age, 40.5 [9.3] years). The training modules had no effect on LTL. In 699 observations from all 298 participants, mean estimated changes in the relative ratios of telomere repeat copy number to single-copy gene (T/S) were for no training, 0.004 (95% CI, −0.010 to 0.018); Presence, −0.007 (95% CI, −0.025 to 0.011); Affect, −0.005 (95% CI, −0.019 to 0.010); and Perspective, −0.001 (95% CI, −0.017 to 0.016). Cortical thickness change data were analyzed in 167 observations from 67 retest control participants (37 women [55.2%], mean [SD] age, 39.6 [9.0] years). In this retest control cohort subsample, naturally occurring LTL change was related to CT change in the left precuneus extending to the posterior cingulate cortex (meant161 = 3.22;P  Conclusions and Relevance The findings of this trial indicate an association between short-term change in LTL and concomitant change in plasticity of the left precuneus extending to the posterior cingulate cortex. This result contributes to the evidence that LTL changes more dynamically on the individual level than previously thought. Further studies are needed to determine potential long-term implications of such change in relation to cellular aging and the development of neurodegenerative disorders. No effect of contemplative mental training was noted in what may be, to date, the longest intervention with healthy adults. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov identifier:NCT01833104
  • References (72)
  • Citations (1)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
9 Citations
14 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
References72
Newest
#1Quinn A. Conklin (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 3
#2Alexandra D. Crosswell (UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)H-Index: 8
Last. Elissa S. Epel (UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)H-Index: 71
view all 4 authors...
Both theoretical and empirical work support the notion that meditation training can improve telomere regulation, which may ultimately contribute to healthy aging. Yet, the psychological and biological mechanisms underlying these changes remain underspecified, as do the contexts and boundary conditions in which these changes occur. Here we summarize studies investigating the effects of various meditation-based interventions on telomere biology, making suggestions for future research. We then prop...
6 CitationsSource
#1Stephanie J. Wilson (OSU: Ohio State University)H-Index: 5
#2Alex Woody (OSU: Ohio State University)H-Index: 4
Last. Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser (OSU: Ohio State University)H-Index: 95
view all 6 authors...
4 CitationsSource
#1Christian WernerH-Index: 20
#2Anne Hecksteden (Saarland University)H-Index: 12
Last. Ulrich LaufsH-Index: 67
view all 13 authors...
17 CitationsSource
#1Eli Puterman (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 27
#2Jordan Weiss (UPenn: University of Pennsylvania)H-Index: 4
Last. Elissa S. Epel (UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)H-Index: 71
view all 7 authors...
Abstract Study design Family members caring for chronically ill relatives are typically sedentary, chronically stressed, and at high risk of disease. Observational reports suggest caregivers have accelerated cellular aging as indicated by shorter leukocyte telomere lengths. We performed a randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of aerobic exercise on changes in telomerase levels (primary outcome) and telomere lengths (secondary outcome) in inactive caregivers. Methods 68 female and mal...
11 CitationsSource
#1Marij GielenH-Index: 16
#2Geja J. Hageman (UM: Maastricht University)H-Index: 25
Last. Maurice P. Zeegers (UM: Maastricht University)H-Index: 50
view all 70 authors...
Background: Even before the onset of age-related diseases, obesity might be a contributing factor to the cumulative burden of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation throughout the life course. Obesity may therefore contribute to accelerated shortening of telomeres. Consequently, obese persons are more likely to have shorter telomeres, but the association between body mass index (BMI) and leukocyte telomere length (TL) might differ across the life span and between ethnicities and sexes. Object...
7 CitationsSource
#1Adam M. Staffaroni (UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)H-Index: 5
#2Duygu Tosun (UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)H-Index: 28
Last. Joel H. Kramer (UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)H-Index: 89
view all 12 authors...
Abstract Although leukocyte telomere length (TL) shortens over the lifespan and is associated with diseases of aging, little is known about the relationships between TL, memory, and brain structure. Sixty-nine functionally normal older adults (mean age = 71.7) were assessed at 2 time points (mean interval = 2.9 years). Linear mixed models assessed relationships between TL and hippocampal volume, fractional anisotropy, and mean diffusivity (MD) of the fornix and verbal and visual episodic memory....
1 CitationsSource
#1Gillian V. Pepper (Newcastle University)H-Index: 10
#2Melissa Bateson (Newcastle University)H-Index: 39
Last. Daniel Nettle (Newcastle University)H-Index: 49
view all 3 authors...
Telomeres have been proposed as a biomarker that integrates the impacts of different kinds of stress and adversity into a common currency. There has as yet been no overall comparison of how differe...
9 CitationsSource
#1Quinn A. Conklin (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 3
#2Brandon G. King (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 13
Last. Clifford D. Saron (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 25
view all 12 authors...
Abstract A growing body of evidence suggests that meditation training may have a range of salubrious effects, including improved telomere regulation. Telomeres and the enzyme telomerase interact with a variety of molecular components to regulate cell-cycle signaling cascades, and are implicated in pathways linking psychological stress to disease. We investigated the effects of intensive meditation practice on these biomarkers by measuring changes in telomere length (TL), telomerase activity (TA)...
9 CitationsSource
#1Doug Greve (Harvard University)H-Index: 55
#2Bruce Fischl (Harvard University)H-Index: 95
Abstract The false positive rates (FPR) for surface-based group analysis of cortical thickness, surface area, and volume were evaluated for parametric and non-parametric clusterwise correction for multiple comparisons for a range of smoothing levels and cluster-forming thresholds (CFT) using real data under group assignments that should not yield significant results. For whole cortical surface analysis, thickness showed modest inflation in parametric FPRs above the nominal level (10% versus 5%)....
23 CitationsSource
#1James H. Cole (Imperial College London)H-Index: 23
#2Stuart J. Ritchie (Edin.: University of Edinburgh)H-Index: 26
Last. Ian J. Deary (Edin.: University of Edinburgh)H-Index: 128
view all 18 authors...
Age-associated disease and disability are placing a growing burden on society. However, ageing does not affect people uniformly. Hence, markers of the underlying biological ageing process are needed to help identify people at increased risk of age-associated physical and cognitive impairments and ultimately, death. Here, we present such a biomarker, ‘brain-predicted age’, derived using structural neuroimaging. Brain-predicted age was calculated using machine-learning analysis, trained on neuroim...
83 CitationsSource
Cited By1
Newest
Abstract Telomeres are higher order structures that cap and protect chromosome ends. Telomeric DNA naturally shortens during somatic cell division and as a result of oxidative stress. Excessive shortening disrupts the integrity of the telomere, causing cellular senescence, one of the hallmarks of organismal ageing. The accumulation of senescent cells with ageing contributes to the loss of tissue homeostasis and the development of age-related pathologies. Hence, counteracting telomere shortening ...
Source