Stacy Andersen, PhD has conducted research with the New England Centenarian Study since 2000. Her earlier work involved the investigation of the delay or escape of age-related illnesses and disability in centenarians and their family members. Historically, gerontologists and the lay public assumed that living longer was associated with an increased duration of age-related illnesses. Then, in 1980, Jim Fries proposed his compression of morbidity hypothesis, suggesting that as people live to the limit of human life span, they necessarily postpone or delay age-related diseases towards the end of life. She first investigated this hypothesis in relation to cancer, normally associated with high mortality risk. In this study she documented a 17-year delay in the onset of cancer diagnoses compared with a national cancer database. Much more recently, she published evidence that those truly near the limit of human life span, supercentenarians (age 110+ years), postpone not only morbidity but also functional and cognitive decline. The supercentenarians spend an average of the last 5 years of their lives with one or more age-related diseases whereas younger centenarians spend approximately 9 years with morbidity. These studies demonstrate that extremely long-lived individuals are models for disease-free aging that can help us learn more about health spans and successful aging.
More recently Dr. Andersen has been investigating cognitive function in family members of long-lived individuals in the Long Life Family Study. Analyses of cognitive function in this cohort reveal that family members from the offspring generation perform better on some tests of neuropsychological function than their spouses who do not have familial longevity. In addition, there is familial clustering of exceptional episodic memory performance such that individuals with high-performing family members were more likely to demonstrate better episodic memory than those without high-performing family members. Assessment of more specific deficits in cognitive function consistent with Alzheimer’s disease revealed lower risk of impairment among individuals with familial longevity compared with their spouses. Dr. Andersen’s dissertation research involved an expanded neuropsychological assessment protocol in this cohort. She documented that in spite of average fewer years of education and lower proxies of cognitive reserve, participants with familial longevity performed at the same levels as the referent group. She concluded that individuals with familial longevity may have non-education related advantages that may be conducive to preserved cognitive function. She is now investigating a variety of potential modifiers of cognitive function in this cohort.
- Boston University School of Medicine, PhD
- Brandeis University, BS
- SPH EP740
- Published on 11/17/2020
Du M, Andersen SL, Schupf N, Feitosa MF, Barker MS, Perls TT, Sebastiani P. Association Between APOE Alleles and Change of Neuropsychological Tests in the Long Life Family Study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2020 Nov 17. PMID: 33216038.
- Published on 11/10/2020
Qiao YS, Gmelin T, Renner SW, Boudreau RM, Martin S, Wojczynski MK, Christensen K, Andersen SL, Cosentino S, Santanasto AJ, Glynn NW. Evaluation of the Bidirectional Relations of Perceived Physical Fatigability and Physical Activity on Slower Gait Speed. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Nov 10. PMID: 33170216.
- Published on 9/16/2020
LaSorda KR, Gmelin T, Kuipers AL, Boudreau RM, Santanasto AJ, Christensen K, Renner SW, Wojczynski MK, Andersen SL, Cosentino S, Glynn NW. Epidemiology of Perceived Physical Fatigability in Older Adults: The Long Life Family Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Sep 16; 75(9):e81-e88. PMID: 31828303.
- Published on 7/3/2020
Andersen SL. Centenarians as Models of Resistance and Resilience to Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias. Adv Geriatr Med Res. 2020; 2(3). PMID: 32743561.
- Published on 6/8/2020
Sebastiani P, Andersen SL, Sweigart B, Du M, Cosentino S, Thyagarajan B, Christensen K, Schupf N, Perls TT. Patterns of multi-domain cognitive aging in participants of the Long Life Family Study. Geroscience. 2020 Oct; 42(5):1335-1350. PMID: 32514870.
- Published on 4/28/2020
Ashrafi A, Cosentino S, Kang MS, Lee JH, Schupf N, Andersen SL, Christensen K, Province MA, Thyagarajan B, Zmuda JM, Honig LS. Leukocyte Telomere Length Is Unrelated to Cognitive Performance Among Non-Demented and Demented Persons: An Examination of Long Life Family Study Participants. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2020 Oct; 26(9):906-917. PMID: 32342830.
- Published on 1/14/2020
Marone S, Bloore K, Sebastiani P, Flynn C, Leonard B, Whitaker K, Mostowy M, Perls TT, Andersen SL. Purpose in Life Among Centenarian Offspring. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2020 01 14; 75(2):308-315. PMID: 29522128.
- Published on 11/13/2019
Gurinovich A, Andersen SL, Puca A, Atzmon G, Barzilai N, Sebastiani P. Varying Effects of APOE Alleles on Extreme Longevity in European Ethnicities. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 11 13; 74(Suppl_1):S45-S51. PMID: 31724059.
- Published on 10/1/2019
Bae H, Lunetta KL, Murabito JM, Andersen SL, Schupf N, Perls T, Sebastiani P. Genetic associations with age of menopause in familial longevity. Menopause. 2019 10; 26(10):1204-1212. PMID: 31188284.
- Published on 9/1/2019
Gurinovich A, Bae H, Farrell JJ, Andersen SL, Monti S, Puca A, Atzmon G, Barzilai N, Perls TT, Sebastiani P. PopCluster: an algorithm to identify genetic variants with ethnicity-dependent effects. Bioinformatics. 2019 09 01; 35(17):3046-3054. PMID: 30624692.
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