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Associations of later-life education, the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and cognitive change in older adults


Ward, DD and Summers, MJ and Valenzuela, MJ and Srikanth, VK and Summers, JJ and King, AE and Ritchie, K and Robinson, AL and Vickers, JC, Associations of later-life education, the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and cognitive change in older adults, The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease, 7, (1) pp. 37-42. ISSN 2274-5807 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 Serdi and Springer Nature Switzerland AG

DOI: doi:10.14283/jpad.2019.40


In 358 participants of the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project, we quantified the cognitive consequences of engaging in varying loads of university-level education in later life, and investigated whether or not BDNF Val66Met affected outcomes. Assessment of neuropsychological, health, and psychosocial function was undertaken at baseline, 12-month, and 24-month follow-up. Education load was positively associated with change in language processing performance, but this effect did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.064). The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism significantly moderated the extent to which education load was associated with improved language processing (P = 0.026), with education load having a significant positive relationship with cognitive change in BDNF Met carriers but not in BDNF Val homozygotes. In older adults who carry BDNF Met, engaging in university-level education improves language processing performance in a load-dependent manner.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:education, BDNF, cognitive, university, intervention
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ward, DD (Mr David Ward)
UTAS Author:Summers, MJ (Dr Mathew Summers)
UTAS Author:Srikanth, VK (Dr Velandai Srikanth)
UTAS Author:Summers, JJ (Professor Jeffery Summers)
UTAS Author:King, AE (Professor Anna King)
UTAS Author:Robinson, AL (Professor Andrew Robinson)
UTAS Author:Vickers, JC (Professor James Vickers)
ID Code:139761
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-07-02
Last Modified:2020-08-04

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