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Association between the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism and verbal learning in older adults is moderated by gender


Imlach, A-R and Ward, DD and Vickers, JC and Summers, MJ and Felmingham, KL, Association between the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism and verbal learning in older adults is moderated by gender, Translational Psychiatry, 7 pp. 1-7. ISSN 2158-3188 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2017 The Author(s). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/tp.2017.107


The S allele of the functional 5-HTTLPR polymorphism has previously been associated with reductions in memory function. Given the change in function of the serotonergic system in older adults, and the functional consequences of memory decline in this age group, further investigation into the impact of 5-HTTLPR in healthy older adults is required. This investigation examined the effect of 5-HTTLPR variants (S carriers versus L/L homozygotes) on verbal and visual episodic memory in 438 healthy older adults participating in the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project (age range 5079 years, M = 60.35, s.d. = 6.75). Direct effects of 5-HTTLPR on memory processes, in addition to indirect effects through interaction with age and gender, were assessed. Although no direct effects of 5-HTTLPR on memory processes were identified, our results indicated that gender significantly moderated the impact that 5-HTTLPR variants exerted on the relationship between age and verbal episodic memory function as assessed by the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. No significant direct or indirect effects were identified in relation to visual memory performance. Overall, this investigation found evidence to suggest that 5-HTTLPR genotype affects the association of age and verbal episodic memory for males and females differently, with the predicted negative effect of S carriage present in males but not females. Such findings indicate a gender-dependent role for 5-HTTLPR in the verbal episodic memory system of healthy older adults.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gender, serotonin, transporter, cognitive function, moderation, ageing
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:Imlach, A-R (Miss Abbie-Rose Imlach)
UTAS Author:Ward, DD (Mr David Ward)
UTAS Author:Vickers, JC (Professor James Vickers)
UTAS Author:Summers, MJ (Dr Mathew Summers)
UTAS Author:Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)
ID Code:117340
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2017-06-07
Last Modified:2018-07-24
Downloads:76 View Download Statistics

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