Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Reports
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Precision Health
Edith Cowan University Higher Degree by Research Scholarship / Australian Alzheimer's Disease Research Foundation / Edith Cowan University Strategic Research Fellowship
Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation have been implicated in a number of diseases including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. While it is recognized that DNA methylation is tissue-specific, a limitation for many studies is the ability to sample the tissue of interest, which is why there is a need for a proxy tissue such as blood, that is reflective of the methylation state of the target tissue. In the last decade, DNA methylation has been utilized in the design of epigenetic clocks, which aim to predict an individual’s biological age based on an algorithmically defined set of CpGs. A number of studies have found associations between disease and/or disease risk with increased biological age, adding weight to the theory of increased biological age being linked with disease processes. Hence, this review takes a closer look at the utility of DNA methylation as a biomarker in aging and disease, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease.
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