What does Telomere Testing measure?
Telomeres are sections of genetic material at the end of each chromosome whose primary function is to prevent chromosomal “fraying” when a cell replicates. As a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become too short to allow cell replication, the cell stops dividing and will ultimately die – a normal biological process. Telomere Test can determine the length of a patient’s telomeres in relation to the patient’s age.
How are the results reported?
The Patient Telomere Score is calculated based on the patient’s telomere length on white blood cells (T-lymphocytes). This is the average compared to telomere length on lymphocytes from a sample of the American population in the same age range. The higher the telomere score, the “younger” the cells. A Telomere Score that is above the average line is desirable.
What do the results mean to the patient and the doctor?
Age adjusted telomere length is the best method do date to assess biological age using structural analysis of chromosomal change in the telomere. Serial evaluation of telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Therapies directed as slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related diseases.