The Association between Early-life Relative Telomere Length and Childhood Neurodevelopment

Marina Oktapodas Feiler, Deven Patel, Huiqi Li, Philip J Meacham, Gene E Watson, Conrad F Shamlaye, Alison J. Yeates, Karin Broberg, Edwin van Wijngaarden

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Abstract

Purpose: To examine the association between telomere length and neurodevelopment in children. Methods: We examined the relationship between relative telomere length (rTL) and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 9 and 30 months, and 5 years of age in children enrolled in the Seychelles Child Development Study Nutrition Cohort 1 (NC1). Relative telomere length was measured in cord blood and in child blood at age five. Multivariable linear regression examined associations between neurodevelopmental outcomes and rTL adjusting for relevant covariates.Results: Mean rTL was 1.18 at birth and 0.71 at age five. Increased cord blood rTL was associated with better scores on two neurodevelopmental tests, the psychomotor developmental index (β =4.01; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.17, 7.85) at age 30 months, and the Woodcock Johnson test of achievement letter-word score (β=2.88; CI=1.21-4.56) at age five. The Woodcock Johnson test of achievement letter-word score remained statistically significant after two outliers were excluded (β=2.83; CI=0.69, 4.97); the psychomotor developmental index did not (β =3.62; CI=-1.28, 8.52). None of the neurodevelopmental outcomes at age five were associated with five-year rTL. Conclusion: Although increased cord blood rTL was associated with better test scores for a few neurodevelopmental outcomes, this study found little consistent evidence of an association between rTL and neurodevelopment. Future studies with a larger sample size, longer follow-up, and other relevant biological markers (e.g. oxidative stress) are needed to clarify the role of rTL in neurodevelopment and its relevance as a potential surrogate measure for oxidative stress in the field of developmental neurotoxicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages5
JournalNeurotoxicology
Volume65
Early online date31 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jan 2018

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Keywords

  • children
  • epidemiology
  • cognition
  • language

Cite this

Oktapodas Feiler, M., Patel, D., Li, H., Meacham, P. J., Watson, G. E., Shamlaye, C. F., ... van Wijngaarden, E. (2018). The Association between Early-life Relative Telomere Length and Childhood Neurodevelopment. Neurotoxicology, 65, 22-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuro.2018.01.005