A genotype of exceptional longevity is associated with preservation of cognitive function

N. Barzilai, G. Atzmon, C. A. Derby, J. M. Bauman, R. B. Lipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To test whether cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) genotype (VV homozygosity for I405V) is associated with preservation of cognitive function in addition to its association with exceptional longevity. METHODS: We studied Ashkenazi Jews with exceptional longevity (n = 158; age 99.2 ± 0.3 years) for the associations of CETP VV genotype and lipoprotein phenotype, using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). To confirm the role of CETP in a younger cohort, we studied subjects from the Einstein Aging Study (EAS) for associations between CETP VV and cognitive impairment. RESULTS: Subjects with MMSE > 25 were twice as likely to have the CETP VV genotype (29% vs 14%, p = 0.02), and those with the VV genotype were more likely (61% vs 30%, p = 0.02) to have MMSE > 25. Subjects with the VV genotype had lower levels of CETP (1.73 ± 0.11 vs 2.12 ± 0.10 μg/mL, p = 0.01), higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (p = 0.02), and larger lipoprotein particles (p = 0.03). In the EAS cohort, an approximately fivefold increase in the VV genotype (21% vs 4%, p = 0.02), higher HDL levels, and larger lipoprotein particle sizes were associated with less dementia and improved memory. CONCLUSIONS: Using two independent cohorts, we implicate the longevity CETP gene as a modulator of age-related cognitive function. A specific CETP genotype is associated with lower CETP levels and a favorable lipoprotein profile. It has not been determined whether modulation of this gene prevents age-related decline or AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2170-2175
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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