Published on: November 27, 2014
by Yahoo News:
Genetic variants have been identified that are associated with lacking a good memory in middle and later life and Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists analysed international data from 30,000 people aged 45 and over who took memory tests including recalling set words and stories.
Each individual’s performance was compared with his or her genetic code.
People with lower scores were found to have DNA variants near a gene called Apolipoprotein E, which is known to have links with Alzheimer’s disease, and another involved in the immune response.
A study of post-mortem brain tissue samples confirmed that individuals with the same genetic variants were more likely to display very early signs of Alzheimer’s.
Professor Ian Deary, from the University of Edinburgh, who co-led the research, said: “These international collaborations help us to find the small individual genetic variants that contribute to memory and other important skills. Once we find them, the hope is that they will lead us to the mechanisms that underpin healthy cognitive ageing.”
The findings may also help shed light on possible links between the immune system and age-related memory loss.
Co-author Dr Stephanie Debette, from Boston University School of Medicine in the US, said: “Interestingly, genetic variants associated with memory performance also predicted altered levels of expression of certain genes in the hippocampus, a key region of the brain for the consolidation of information.”
The study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, was conducted by scientists in the UK, US, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Holland, Croatia, Australia and Taiwan.
Older people who report greater levels of social engagement have more robust gray matter in regions of the brain relevant in dementia, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of...
In a new study, University of Nebraska–Lincoln sociologist Marc A. Garcia explored how educational attainment can benefit cognitive health in later life, and whether there are differences in its benefits among minorities. Garcia and his co-authors...
A genetic variation in some people may be associated with cognitive decline that can’t be explained by deposits of two key proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid β and tau, according to a study...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.