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The interactive effect of physical activity and APOE-Ɛ4 on cognitive function in older adults


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Marris-Smith, RL 2017 , 'The interactive effect of physical activity and APOE-Ɛ4 on cognitive function in older adults', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between physical activity (PA) and the APOE-Ɛ4 on cognitive functioning in cognitively normal older adults. Two hundred participants (mean age = 64.35 years old, male N = 61, female N = 139) estimated their average PA, underwent genetic testing, and completed a battery of neurocognitive tests assessing executive functioning, long-term memory, learning, and working memory. A cross-sectional between subjects 2 (APOE-Ɛ4 carrier status: carrier, non-carrier) x 2 (Physical activity: low, high) ANCOVA (age as covariate) was run for each cognitive test. Results revealed no significant main effects or significant interactions between PA and APOE-Ɛ4 carrier status across any cognitive domains. These results were contrary to the hypotheses. It was concluded that the protective effect of PA, and the risk effect of APOE-Ɛ4 that is present in cases of dementia may not have an effect on non-pathological cognitive decline. Future large-scale research is required to determine whether this is a true effect, or due to methodological limitations. Future research may benefit from the use of an objective measure of PA, inclusion of a measure of global cognitive functioning, and the use of a PA intervention or longitudinal design.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Marris-Smith, RL
Keywords: Apolipoprotein E epsilon 4; age-associated; cognitive decline; long-term memory; working memory; executive functioning
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Copyright 2017 the author

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