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Olfactory Function: The Influence of Demographic, Cognitive, and Genetic Factors
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Olfactory function is affected by demographic, cognitive, and genetic factors. In the present thesis, three empirical studies investigated individual differences in olfactory ability. Study I explored demographic and cognitive correlates in common olfactory tasks; odor detection, odor discrimination, and odor identification. The results indicated that old age influenced performance negatively in all tasks, and that semantic memory proficiency and executive functioning were related to odor discrimination and odor identification performance. No cognitive influence was observed for measurements of olfactory threshold. Using population-based data, Study II investigated a potential influence of the ApoE gene on olfactory identification after controlling for health status, semantic memory, and preclinical and clinical dementia. The main finding was that the ApoE- ɛ4 allele interacted with age, such that older ɛ4-carriers had an impaired odor identification performance relative to older non-carriers. Importantly, the negative ApoE- ɛ4 effect on olfactory proficiency was independent of clinical dementia conversion within five years. Study III investigated the effects of the BDNF val66met polymorphism on olfactory change over a five-year interval, in a community dwelling sample of young and old age cohorts. The results showed that age-related decline in olfactory identification was influenced by the BDNF val66met. In middle-aged subjects, no effect of BDNF val66met was observed although older val homozygote carriers showed a selectively larger olfactory decline than the older met carriers. Overall, results suggest that the relative influence of demographic and cognitive factors vary across different olfactory tasks and that two genes (ApoE and BDNF) impact age-related deficits in odor identification. Potential theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed as well as potential limitations of association studies in genomics research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2013. , 80 p.
Keyword [en]
Olfaction, odor identification, odor threshold, odor discrimination, aging, gender, ApoE, BDNF, val66met, association study, population-based
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85907ISBN: 978-91-7447-628-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-85907DiVA: diva2:586478
Public defence
2013-02-15, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-01-24 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2013-01-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Cognitive factors in odor detection, odor discrimination, and odor identification tasks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cognitive factors in odor detection, odor discrimination, and odor identification tasks
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2010 (English)In: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, ISSN 1380-3395, E-ISSN 1744-411X, Vol. 32, no 10, 1062-1067 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to determine cognitive correlates of olfactory performance across three different tasks. A total of 170 men and women (30-87 years of age) were assessed in olfactory sensitivity, discrimination, and identification. Also, participants were tested in a range of cognitive tests covering executive functioning, semantic memory, and episodic memory. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that proficiency in executive functioning and semantic memory contributed significantly to odor discrimination and identification performance, whereas all of the cognitive factors proved unrelated to performance in the odor threshold test. This pattern of outcome suggests that an individual's cognitive profile exerts a reliable influence on performance in higher order olfactory tasks.

Keyword
olfaction, smell, cognition, memory, age
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-53399 (URN)10.1080/13803391003683070 (DOI)000285150000003 ()
Note

AuthorCount: 5;

Available from: 2011-01-22 Created: 2011-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. Odor identification impairment in carriers of ApoE-epsilon 4 is independent of clinical dementia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Odor identification impairment in carriers of ApoE-epsilon 4 is independent of clinical dementia
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2010 (English)In: Neurobiology of Aging, ISSN 0197-4580, E-ISSN 1558-1497, Vol. 31, no 4, 567-577 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The ApoE acme is expressed in olfactory brain structures and is believed to play a role in neuronal regenerative processes as well as in development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia The epsilon 4 allele lots been reported to be associated with compromised odor identification ability in the elderly, and this deficit has been interpreted as a sign of pre-diagnostic AD However, because it has not been demonstrated that the relationship between the epsilon 4 allele and odor identification is mediated by dementia, it is possible that the epsilon 4 allele may have an effect on odor identification over and above any effects of dementia. The present study investigated effects of ApoE-status on odor identification in a lame, population-based sample (n =1236) of adults (45-80 years), who were assessed for dementia at time of testing and 5 years later The results showed that the epsilon 4 allele was associated with an odor identification deficit among, elderly participants (75-80) Critically. this effect remained after current and pre-diagnostic dementia, vocabulary, global cognitive status and health variables were partialled out The present results suggest that the ApoE gene plays a role in olfactory functioning that is independent of dementia conversion within 5 years

Keyword
ApoE, Odor identification, Olfaction, Aging, Alzheimer's disease
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52206 (URN)10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.05.019 (DOI)000276759700005 ()
Note

The Betula Study is funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (1988-0082:17), Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research (D1988-0092, D1989-0115, D1990-0074, D1991-0258, D1992-0143, D1997-0756, D1997-1841, D1999-0739 and B1999-474), Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (F377/1988–2000), and the Swedish Council for Social Research (1988–1990: 88-0082 and 311/1991–2000). The authors acknowledge the contribution to this paper of the VIB—Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium, and Rolf Adolfsson at the Department of Psychiatry, Umeå University, to the APOE genotyping of Betula individuals. Also, the authors thank Birgitta Törnkvist at the Department of Statistics, Umeå University, for valuable consultation, and six anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. authorCount :6

Available from: 2011-01-14 Created: 2011-01-13 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
3. Age-Related Olfactory Decline is Associated with the BDNF Val66met Polymorphism: Evidence from a Population-Based Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Age-Related Olfactory Decline is Associated with the BDNF Val66met Polymorphism: Evidence from a Population-Based Study
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2010 (English)In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 2, no 7, 24- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study investigates the effect of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) val66met polymorphism on change in olfactory function in a large scale, longitudinal population-based sample (n = 836). The subjects were tested on a 13 item force-choice odor identification test on two test occasions over a 5-year-interval. Sex, education, health-related factors, and semantic ability were controlled for in the statistical analyses. Results showed an interaction effect of age and BDNF val66met on olfactory change, such that the magnitude of olfactory decline in the older age cohort (70–90years old at baseline) was larger for the val homozygote carriers than for the met carriers. The older met carriers did not display larger age-related decline in olfactory function compared to the younger group. The BDNF val66met polymorphism did not affect the rate of decline in the younger age cohort (45–65years). The findings are discussed in the light of the proposed roles of BDNF in neural development and maintenance.

Keyword
brain-derived neurotrophic factor, val66met, olfaction, odor identification, aging
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-47024 (URN)10.3389/fnagi.2010.00024 (DOI)PMC2893376 (PubMedID)
Note

This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council Grant 421-2005-2113 to Maria Larsson and The Betula Study is funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (1988-0082:17), Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research (D1988-0092, D1989-0115, D1990-0074, D1991-0258, D1992-0143, D1997-0756, D1997-1841, D1999-0739, B1999-474), Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (F377/1988-2000), the Swedish Council for Social Research (1988-1990: 88-0082, and 311/1991-2000), and the Swedish Research Council (315-2004-6977).

Available from: 2010-11-26 Created: 2010-11-26 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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