Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Aging Studies

Major Professor

Brent Small, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Cathy McEvoy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cathy McEvoy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michelle Mattingly, Ph.D.

Keywords

Alzheimer's disease, Cognition, Genetics, Gerontology, Neuropsychology, Translational Science

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) previously associated with Alzheimer's disease on specific domains of cognition, when controlling for Apolipoprotein E gene (APOE), in a sample of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Methods: The data were drawn from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database, a comprehensive, longitudinal database of controls, persons with mild cognitive impairment, and persons with mild Alzheimer's disease. Each subject has a full neuropsychological assessment, neuroimaging, genetic sequencing, and physical evaluation. For the purposes of this study, individuals were selected based on the presence of the three SNPs of interest: CR1 (rs3818361_T), CLU (rs11136000_T), and PICALM (rs3851179_A). Each SNP was then measured against the available tests of the ADNI neuropsychological battery that measured immediate and long delay memory, semantic fluency, and confrontation naming. Results: Only the CR1 SNP (rs3818361_T) had significant findings. The presence of the CR1 SNP associated with lower performance on logical memory recall total score, AVLT immediate recall trials 2 and 4, AVLT delayed recall, and confrontation naming in the 12-month control group. Logical memory and AVLT delayed recall were also negatively associated with CR1 in the 12-month AD case group. Discussion: These results support previous findings that the CR1 SNP rs3818361_T is a risk factor for cognitive impairment in individuals with and without AD. Such findings can aid in the earlier detection of Alzheimer's disease, risk for domain specific cognitive impairment, and novel targets for personalized pharmacotherapy.

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