APOE e4 polymorphism in young adults is associated with improved attention and indexed by distinct neural signatures

Rusted, J M, Evans, S L, King, S L, Dowell, N G, Tabet, N and Tofts, P S (2013) APOE e4 polymorphism in young adults is associated with improved attention and indexed by distinct neural signatures. NeuroImage, 65 (1). pp. 364-373. ISSN 1053-8119

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Abstract

The APOE e4 allele, which confers an increased risk of developing dementia in older adulthood, has been associated with enhanced cognitive performance in younger adults. An objective of the current study was to compare task-related behavioural and neural signatures for e4 carriers (e4+) and non-e4 carriers (e4-) to help elucidate potential mechanisms behind such cognitive differences. On two measures of attention, we recorded clear behavioural advantages in young adult e4+ relative to e4-, suggesting that e4+ performed these tasks with a wider field of attention. Behavioural advantages were associated with increased task-related brain activations detected by fMRI (BOLD). In addition, behavioural measures correlated with structural measures derived from a former DTI analysis of white matter integrity in our cohort. These data provide clear support for an antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis - that the e4 allele confers some cognitive advantage in early life despite adverse consequences in old age. The data implicate differences in both structural and functional signatures as complementary mediators of the behavioural advantage.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
R Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Depositing User: Nicholas Dowell
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2012 12:32
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2017 18:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/42365
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