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


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Imlach, A-R, Ward, DD ORCID: 0000-0001-5476-9526, Vickers, JC ORCID: 0000-0001-5671-4879, Summers, MJ ORCID: 0000-0002-3869-4920 and Felmingham, KL 2017 , 'Association between the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism and verbal learning in older adults is moderated by gender' , Translational Psychiatry, vol. 7 , pp. 1-7 , doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.107.

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The S allele of the functional 5-HTTLPR polymorphism has previously been associated with reductions in memory function. Giventhe change in function of the serotonergic system in older adults, and the functional consequences of memory decline in this agegroup, further investigation into the impact of 5-HTTLPR in healthy older adults is required. This investigation examined the effectof 5-HTTLPR variants (S carriers versus L/L homozygotes) on verbal and visual episodic memory in 438 healthy older adultsparticipating in the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project (age range 50–79 years, M= 60.35, s.d. = 6.75). Direct effects of HTTLPR onmemory processes, in addition to indirect effects through interaction with age and gender, were assessed. Although no directeffects of 5-HTTLPR on memory processes were identified, our results indicated that gender significantly moderated the impact that5-HTTLPR variants exerted on the relationship between age and verbal episodic memory function as assessed by the Rey AuditoryVerbal Learning Test. No significant direct or indirect effects were identified in relation to visual memory performance. Overall, thisinvestigation found evidence to suggest that 5-HTTLPR genotype affects the association of age and verbal episodic memory formales and females differently, with the predicted negative effect of S carriage present in males but not females. Such findingsindicate a gender-dependent role for 5-HTTLPR in the verbal episodic memory system of healthy older adults.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Imlach, A-R and Ward, DD and Vickers, JC and Summers, MJ and Felmingham, KL
Keywords: gender, serotonin, transporter, cognitive function, moderation, ageing
Journal or Publication Title: Translational Psychiatry
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2158-3188
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/tp.2017.107
Copyright Information:

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

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