Accelerated epigenetic aging in Down syndrome

Aging Cell. 2015 Jun;14(3):491-5. doi: 10.1111/acel.12325. Epub 2015 Feb 9.


Down Syndrome (DS) entails an increased risk of many chronic diseases that are typically associated with older age. The clinical manifestations of accelerated aging suggest that trisomy 21 increases the biological age of tissues, but molecular evidence for this hypothesis has been sparse. Here, we utilize a quantitative molecular marker of aging (known as the epigenetic clock) to demonstrate that trisomy 21 significantly increases the age of blood and brain tissue (on average by 6.6 years, P = 7.0 × 10(-14)).

Keywords: DNA methylation; Down syndrome; biomarker of aging; epigenetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging* / genetics
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • Down Syndrome / genetics*
  • Down Syndrome / metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Epigenomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers