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 6/13/2022
Barral S, Andersen SL, Perls TT, Bae H, Sebastiani P, Christensen K, Thyagarajan B, Lee J, Schupf N. Association between late maternal age and age-related endophenotypes in the Long Life Family Study. Neurosci Lett. 2022 Jul 27; 784:136737. PMID: 35709880.
- Published on 4/1/2022
Glynn NW, Gmelin T, Renner SW, Qiao YS, Boudreau RM, Feitosa MF, Wojczynski MK, Cosentino S, Andersen SL, Christensen K, Newman AB. Perceived Physical Fatigability Predicts All-Cause Mortality in Older Adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2022 Apr 01; 77(4):837-841. PMID: 34908118.
- Published on 3/8/2022
Du M, Andersen SL, Cosentino S, Boudreau RM, Perls TT, Sebastiani P. Digitally generated Trail Making Test data: Analysis using hidden Markov modeling. Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2022; 14(1):e12292. PMID: 35280964.
- Published on 2/23/2022
Fox-Fuller JT, Rizer S, Andersen SL, Sunderaraman P. Survey Findings About the Experiences, Challenges, and Practical Advice/Solutions Regarding Teleneuropsychological Assessment in Adults. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2022 Feb 23; 37(2):274-291. PMID: 34564721.
- Published on 2/4/2022
Gunn S, Wainberg M, Song Z, Andersen S, Boudreau R, Feitosa MF, Tan Q, Montasser ME, O'Connell JR, Stitziel N, Price N, Perls T, Schork NJ, Sebastiani P. Distribution of 54 polygenic risk scores for common diseases in long lived individuals and their offspring. Geroscience. 2022 Apr; 44(2):719-729. PMID: 35119614.
- Published on 1/1/2022
Libon DJ, Swenson R, Lamar M, Price CC, Baliga G, Pascual-Leone A, Au R, Cosentino S, Andersen SL. The Boston Process Approach and Digital Neuropsychological Assessment: Past Research and Future Directions. J Alzheimers Dis. 2022; 87(4):1419-1432. PMID: 35466941.
- Published on 9/13/2021
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. 2021 09 13; 76(10):e237-e244. PMID: 33170216.
- Published on 8/1/2021
Gurinovich A, Song Z, Zhang W, Federico A, Monti S, Andersen SL, Jennings LL, Glass DJ, Barzilai N, Millman S, Perls TT, Sebastiani P. Correction to: Effect of longevity genetic variants on the molecular aging rate. Geroscience. 2021 Aug; 43(4):2101. PMID: 34143375.
- Published on 5/4/2021
Andersen SL, Du M, Cosentino S, Schupf N, Rosso AL, Perls TT, Sebastiani P. Slower Decline in Processing Speed Is Associated with Familial Longevity. Gerontology. 2022; 68(1):17-29. PMID: 33946077.
- Published on 5/4/2021
Gurinovich A, Song Z, Zhang W, Federico A, Monti S, Andersen SL, Jennings LL, Glass DJ, Barzilai N, Millman S, Perls TT, Sebastiani P. Effect of longevity genetic variants on the molecular aging rate. Geroscience. 2021 06; 43(3):1237-1251. PMID: 33948810.
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