The New England Centenarian Study

Prof. Tom Perls, M.D.
Prof. Tom Perls, M.D.

Now based at Boston University, the New England Centenarian Study's mission is to study centenarians who we believe carry the secrets to successful aging and how to delay or even escape diseases associated with aging. On their website, one may find information about the various studies they are conducting and their staff.

A Brief Description:

The underlying hypothesis of the study is that centenarians are a select cohort who have a history of aging relatively slowly and who have either markedly delayed or entirely escaped diseases normally associated with aging such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer's Disease. The study is made up of four major components:

  1. An ongoing population-based medical and demographic study of virtually all centenarians living within the greater Boston area;
  2. Neuropsychological-neuropathological correlation, definition of what is "normal" vs. what is "disease" within this group;
  3. Population genetics, discovering familial patterns relating to the phenotype of extreme longevity; and
  4. Molecular genetics, searching for both nuclear and mitochondrial longevity enabling genes using both centenarian sibling-pairs and random centenarian subjects in conjunction with younger controls.