Navigation Links
Molecular switches age-related memory decline? Genetic variant protect against brain aging

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

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:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris from 17 th until 19 th ... from 17 th until 19 th November 2015.   ... the first combined scanner in the world which scans both ... two different scanners were required: one for passports and one ... same surface. This innovation is an ideal solution for electronic ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. ... Directors. --> --> ... the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest ... Billion in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating ... companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), ... announced expansion of its TDDI product portfolio with ... and display driver integration (TDDI) solutions designed to ... TDDI products add to the previously-announced TD4300 ... resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) solutions. All four ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide ... Carolina , today announced that the company has set a ... a 391% quarter on quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 ... and Mexico , with the establishment of ... December 2015. --> United Kingdom and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 SHPG ) announced today ... the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> ... Officer, will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual ... on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company ... Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will ... on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern ... City. --> --> ... Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QC , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic ... "Corporation") announced today that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President ... corporate presentation at the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th ... Palace Hotel, on December 1-2, 2015. st ... available for one-on-one meetings throughout the day. The presentation will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: