Dement Neurocogn Disord.  2022 Jul;21(3):83-92. 10.12779/dnd.2022.21.3.83.

Is Telomere Length Shortening a Risk Factor for Neurodegenerative Disorders?

  • 1Department of Neurology, Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Department of Neurology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Translational Medicine, Hanyang University Graduate School of Biomedical Science & Engineering, Seoul, Korea


Telomeres are located at the end of chromosomes. They are known to protect chromosomes and prevent cellular senescence. Telomere length shortening has been considered an important marker of aging. Many studies have reported this concept in connection with neurodegenerative disorders. Considering the role of telomeres, it seems that longer telomeres are beneficial while shorter telomeres are detrimental in preventing neurodegenerative disorders. However, several studies have shown that people with longer telomeres might also be vulnerable to neurodegenerative disorders. Before these conflicting results can be explained through large-scale longitudinal clinical studies on the role of telomere length in neurodegenerative disorders, it would be beneficial to simultaneously review these opposing results. Understanding these conflicting results might help us plan future studies to reveal the role of telomere length in neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, these contradictory findings are thoroughly discussed, with the aim to better understand the role of telomere length in neurodegenerative disorders.


Telomere; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Shortening; Alzheimer’s Disease; Parkinson’s Disease; Frontotemporal Dementia
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