Navigation Links
Molecular switches age-related memory decline? Genetic variant protect against brain aging
Date:5/6/2014

Philadelphia, PA, May 6, 2014 Even among the healthiest individuals, memory and cognitive abilities decline with age. This aspect of normal aging can affect an individual's quality of life and capability to live independently but the rate of decline is variable across individuals. There are many factors that can influence this trajectory, but perhaps none more importantly than genetics.

Scientists are seeking to identify key molecular switches that control age-related memory impairment. When new molecules are identified as critical to the process of memory consolidation, they are then tested to determine whether they contribute to the memory problems of the elderly.

One of these proteins is called KIBRA and the gene responsible for its production is WWC1. KIBRA is known to play a role in human memory and so researchers at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development and the National Institute of Mental Health, led by senior author Dr. Venkata Mattay, conducted a study to determine the effects of genetic variants in WWC1 on memory. Their findings are published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry.

"Identifying these genetic factors, while helping us better understand the neurobiology of cognitive aging, will also aid in identifying mechanisms that confer individuals with resilience to withstand the inevitable age-related changes in neural architecture and function," explained Mattay.

Using imaging genetics, a method that combines genetics with brain imaging technology, the team explored the effect of a variant in the WWC1 gene on age-related changes in memory function. The particular WWC1 variant under investigation has three potential forms CC, TT, or CT.

They recruited 233 healthy volunteers, who ranged in age from 18-89 years. The volunteers completed a battery of cognitive tests, underwent genotyping, and completed a memory task during a brain imaging scan.

They found that individuals who carry the T allele, as either CT or TT, performed better on the memory task and showed more active engagement in the hippocampus, a vital brain region for memory, with increasing age.

"Our results show a dynamic relationship between this gene and increasing age on hippocampal function and episodic memory with the non-T allele group showing a significant decline across the adult life span," said Mattay. "A similar relationship was not observed in the T-allele carrying group suggesting that this variant of the gene may confer a protective effect."

Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented, "The risk mechanisms for age-related memory impairment that we identify today may become the targets for the prevention and treatment of this problem in the future."


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
2. Beyond the microscope: Identifying specific cancers using molecular analysis
3. 2012 Forecast for US Molecular Diagnostics Market Now Available From Global Information Inc.
4. 5th Annual Advances in Biomolecular Engineering Symposium
5. PNAS: Precise molecular surgery in the plant genome
6. Molecular spectroscopy tracks living mammalian cells in real time as they differentiate
7. Hitting snooze on the molecular clock: Rabies evolves slower in hibernating bats
8. The activity of a bacterial effector protein seen in molecular detail
9. How bacteria change movement direction in response to oxygen: Molecular interactions unravelled
10. MARC travel award announced for the 2012 GSA Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting
11. Highlighting molecular clues to the link between childhood maltreatment and later suicide
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   ... management and verification solutions, has partnered with ... software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks ... provides products that add functional enhancements to ... provides corporations and venues with an automated ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... British Columbia , June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... appointed to the new role of principal product ... been named the director of customer development. Both ... NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s ... teams in response to high customer demand and ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion ... Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing ... applications are expected to drive the market growth. ... , The development of advanced multimodal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... CARDIFF, UK (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... high precision light to control cells — optogenetics — is key to exciting ... state of the art, spatially patterned light projected via free-space optics stimulates small, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Anaconda BioMed S.L., a ... of the next generation neuro-thrombectomy system for the treatment ... Tudor G. Jovin, MD to join its Scientific Advisory ... a strategic network of scientific and clinical experts to ... of the ANCD BRAIN ® to its clinical ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... This CAST literature review and report looks at problems ... on the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers, ... resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade worth billions ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Savannah River ... technologies and selected NewTechBio,s NT-MAX Lake & ... based beneficial bacteria, in conjunction with Hexa Armor/ ... deficiencies with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements. ... experienced a steady history of elevated pH levels, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: