Stacy L. Andersen PhD

Assistant Professor, Geriatrics

72 E. Concord Street | (617) 353-2080
Stacy Andersen



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.


Neuroscience/Neurology, PhD, Boston University School of Medicine, 2014

Neuroscience/Neurology, BS, Brandeis University, 2001


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 Sep 13; 76(10):e237-e244. PMID: 33170216.

Published on 6/18/2021

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 Jun 18. 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. 2021 May 04; 1-13. 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.

Published on 1/29/2021

Sebastiani P, Federico A, Morris M, Gurinovich A, Tanaka T, Chandler KB, Andersen SL, Denis G, Costello CE, Ferrucci L, Jennings L, Glass DJ, Monti S, Perls TT. Protein signatures of centenarians and their offspring suggest centenarians age slower than other humans. Aging Cell. 2021 02; 20(2):e13290. PMID: 33512769.

Published on 1/20/2021

Renner SW, Bear TM, Brown PJ, Andersen SL, Cosentino S, Gmelin T, Boudreau RM, Cauley JA, Qiao YS, Simonsick EM, Glynn NW. Validation of Perceived Mental Fatigability Using the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 05; 69(5):1343-1348. PMID: 33469914.

Published on 1/8/2021

Xiang Q, Andersen SL, Perls TT, Sebastiani P. Studying the Interplay Between Apolipoprotein E and Education on Cognitive Decline in Centenarians Using Bayesian Beta Regression. Front Genet. 2020; 11:606831. PMID: 33488674.

Published on 1/1/2021

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. 2021; 79(1):117-125. PMID: 33216038.

Published on 1/1/2021

Andersen SL, Sweigart B, Glynn NW, Wojczynski MK, Thyagarajan B, Mengel-From J, Thielke S, Perls TT, Libon DJ, Au R, Cosentino S, Sebastiani P. Digital Technology Differentiates Graphomotor and Information Processing Speed Patterns of Behavior. J Alzheimers Dis. 2021; 82(1):17-32. PMID: 34219735.

Published on 1/1/2021

Sweigart B, Andersen SL, Gurinovich A, Cosentino S, Schupf N, Perls TT, Sebastiani P. APOE E2/E2 Is Associated with Slower Rate of Cognitive Decline with Age. J Alzheimers Dis. 2021; 83(2):853-860. PMID: 34366332.

View full list of 58 publications.