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APOE and BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms combine to influence episodic memory function in older adults


Ward, DD and Summers, MJ and Saunders, NLJ and Janssen, P and Stuart, KE and Vickers, JC, APOE and BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms combine to influence episodic memory function in older adults, Behavioural Brain Research, 271 pp. 309-315. ISSN 0166-4328 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Crown copyright 2014 Published by Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.06.022


Genetic polymorphisms of apolipoprotein E (APOE) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have shown inconsistent associations with healthy adult cognitive functions. Recent investigations have suggested that APOE polymorphisms do not contribute to non-pathological cognitive function and that any effect is likely due to prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD). Similarly, although BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms affect hippocampal morphology and function, associations with learning and/or memory have not always been found. This study sought to determine whether APOE and BDNF polymorphisms were associated, either independently or in combination, with adult cognition. Comprehensive neuropsychological assessments were conducted on 433 older adults, aged 5079 years (M=62.16, SD=6.81), which yielded measures of episodic memory, working memory, executive function, and language processing. Participants underwent comprehensive neuropsychological assessment to ensure that only cognitively intact individuals comprised the sample. APOE and BDNF polymorphic data were used as predictors in general linear models that assessed composite cognitive domain variables, while covarying for education and age. Although no main effects for APOE or BDNF were found, the analysis identified a significant APOE BDNF interaction that predicted episodic memory performance (p=.02, η2=.02). Post-hoc analyses demonstrated that in BDNF Val homozygotes, the cognitive consequences of APOE polymorphisms were minimal. However, in BDNF Met carriers, the hypothesized beneficial/detrimental effects of APOE polymorphisms were found. Our data show that concurrent consideration of both APOE and BDNF polymorphisms are required in order to witness a cognitive effect in healthy older adults.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:APOE, BDNF, aging, episodic memory, polymorphism, older adult
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
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:Saunders, NLJ (Dr Nichole Saunders)
UTAS Author:Stuart, KE (Miss Kimberley Stuart)
UTAS Author:Vickers, JC (Professor James Vickers)
ID Code:92990
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1003645)
Web of Science® Times Cited:36
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-07-03
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:190 View Download Statistics

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