ASSOCIATIONS OF LATER-LIFE EDUCATION, THE BDNF VAL66MET POLYMORPHISM AND COGNITIVE CHANGE IN OLDER ADULTS
D.D. Ward, M.J. Summers, M.J. Valenzuela, V.K. Srikanth, J.J. Summers, A.E. King, K. Ritchie, A.L. Robinson, J.C. Vickers
J Prev Alz Dis 2020;7(1):37-42
In 358 participants of the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project, we quantified the cognitive consequences of engaging in varying loads of university-level education in later life, and investigated whether or not BDNF Val66Met affected outcomes. Assessment of neuropsychological, health, and psychosocial function was undertaken at baseline, 12-month, and 24-month follow-up. Education load was positively associated with change in language processing performance, but this effect did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.064). The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism significantly moderated the extent to which education load was associated with improved language processing (P = 0.026), with education load having a significant positive relationship with cognitive change in BDNF Met carriers but not in BDNF Val homozygotes. In older adults who carry BDNF Met, engaging in university-level education improves language processing performance in a load-dependent manner.
D.D. Ward ; M.J. Summers ; M.J. Valenzuela ; V.K. Srikanth ; J.J. Summers ; A.E. King ; K. Ritchie ; A.L. Robinson ; J.C. Vickers (2019): Associations of Later-Life Education, the BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism and Cognitive Change in Older Adults. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (JPAD). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jpad.2019.40