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Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & PsychiatryClinical Biomarker-based Biological Aging and Future Risk of Neurological Disorders in the UK Biobank

Biological Ageing as a Predictor of Neurological Health

A recent study conducted on the UK Biobank cohort has shed light on the relationship between biological aging and the risk of neurological disorders. The study leverages clinical biomarker-based measures of biological age to predict the risk of age-related neurological diagnoses, providing valuable insights into the role of biological aging in neurological health.

Study Design

  • The study was a prospective cohort analysis conducted on the UK Biobank, which included more than 500,000 volunteers aged between 37 and 73 years.
  • The final analysis included 325,870 participants after excluding those with missing data, pre-existing dementia, ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease (PD), or motor neuron disease (MND).
  • Three clinical biomarker-based measures of biological age were derived: Klemera-Doubal method age (KDMAge), PhenoAge, and homeostatic dysregulation age (HDAge).

Key Findings

  • During a mean follow-up of 9.0 years, there were 1,397 cases of dementia, 2,515 cases of ischemic stroke, 679 cases of PD, and 203 cases of MND.
  • Advanced biological aging was associated with an increased risk of all-cause dementia, vascular dementia, and ischemic stroke.
  • The risk of motor neuron disease showed a small positive association with advanced biological ageing.
  • Interestingly, advanced biological aging did not increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease and may even be protective.

According to the World Health Organization, neurological disorders, ranging from epilepsy to Alzheimer’s disease, from stroke to headache, affect up to one billion people worldwide.

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