New epigenetic clock analyses in the Berlin Aging Study II

As part of the Lifebrain consortium project, LIGA has recently generated genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles in a number of independent datasets, including those from the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). These DNAm data were combined into an age estimate called the “epigenetic clock”, which allows comparisons to the traditional chronologically counted age. This approach was followed in the two studies spearheaded by our BASE-II colleagues in Berlin. In the first paper (published in Frontiers of Genetics), we compared the comparability of the genome-wide DNAm clock vs. a smaller version using just 7 DNAm markers. In the second paper (published in the Journal of Gerontology), both clocks were used to assess various aging-related functional traits. However, no evidence was found for an association between the DNAm clock estimates and any of the outcome measures suggesting that the epigenetic clock is not a strong biomarker for these functional domains. From the LIGA group both Yasmine Sommerer and Lars Bertram actively contributed to these analyses.