Identification of Neuroprotective Factors Associated with Successful Ageing and Risk of Cognitive Impairment among Malaysia Older Adults

Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2017:2017:4218756. doi: 10.1155/2017/4218756. Epub 2017 Oct 3.


The increase of ageing population has raised public attention on the concept of successful ageing. Studies have shown that vitamin D, telomere length, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been associated with cognitive function. Therefore, this study aimed to identify neuroprotective factors for cognitive decline in different ageing groups. A total of 300 older adults aged 60 years and above were recruited in this population based cross-sectional study. Participants were categorized into three groups: mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (n = 100), usual ageing (UA) (n = 100), and successful ageing (SA) (n = 100). Dietary vitamin D intake was assessed through Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ). Out of the 300 participants, only 150 were subjected to fasting blood sample collection. These samples were used for serum vitamin D and plasma BDNF measurements. Whole blood telomere length was measured using RT-PCR method. The results show that the reduction of the risk of MCI was achieved by higher serum vitamin D level (OR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.92-0.99, p < 0.05), higher plasma BDNF level (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.30-0.88, p < 0.05), and longer telomere (OR: 0.97, 95% CI: 0.95-0.99, p < 0.001). In conclusion, participants with higher vitamin D level, higher BDNF level, and longer telomere length were more likely to age successfully.