Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene variant may protect memory and thinking skills in older people

Date:
April 27, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
New research shows a gene variant may help protect the memory and thinking skills of older people.

New research shows a gene variant may help protect the memory and thinking skills of older people. The research will be published in the journal Neurology®.

Related Articles


"This is the first study to identify a protective relationship between this gene variant and cognitive function," said study author Alexandra Fiocco, PhD, with the University of California, San Francisco.

For the study, researchers followed 2,858 African-American and Caucasian people between the ages of 70 and 79 for eight years. Participants' DNA was analyzed for the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, a gene shown in studies to affect thinking skills. The allelic variants associated with this gene are the Val and Met variants.

The group was also given two types of thinking tests. One test measured skills such as language, concentration and memory. The other test measured response time, attention and judging sights and objects.

The study found that the Met variant of the COMT gene was linked to a greater decline in thinking skills over the years, while the Val variant had a protective effect on thinking skills, with lower declines over the years. In Caucasians, those with the Val variant scored 33 percent better over time than those without the variant. Among African-Americans, people with the Val allele gene variant scored 45 percent better over time than those who did not have the variant.

"This finding is interesting because in younger people, the Val genotype has been shown to have a detrimental effect," Fiocco said. "But in our study of older people, the reverse was true. Finding connections between this gene, its variants and cognitive function may help scientists find new treatments for the prevention of cognitive decline." Fiocco added, however, that the results need to be replicated by others before the field can be confident that the Met variant of the COMT gene plays a role in late life cognitive decline.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A.J. Fiocco, K. Lindquist, R. Ferrell, R. Li, E.M. Simonsick, M. Nalls, T.B. Harris, K. Yaffe For the Health ABC Study. COMT genotype and cognitive function: An 8-year longitudinal study in white and black elders. Neurology, Apr 2010; 74: 1296 - 1302 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Gene variant may protect memory and thinking skills in older people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162119.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2010, April 27). Gene variant may protect memory and thinking skills in older people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162119.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Gene variant may protect memory and thinking skills in older people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162119.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins