Magnified effects of the COMT gene on white-matter microstructure in very old age
Number of Authors: 10
2015 (English)In: Brain Structure and Function, ISSN 1863-2653, E-ISSN 1863-2661, Vol. 220, no 5, 2927-2938 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Genetic factors may partly account for between-person differences in brain integrity in old age. Evidence from human and animal studies suggests that the dopaminergic system is implicated in the modulation of white-matter integrity. We investigated whether a genetic variation in the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism, which influences dopamine availability in prefrontal cortex, contributes to interindividual differences in white-matter microstructure, as measured with diffusion-tensor imaging. In a sample of older adults from a population-based study (60-87 years; n = 238), we found that the COMT polymorphism affects white-matter microstructure, indexed by fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity, of several white-matter tracts in the oldest age group (81-87 years), although there were no reliable associations between COMT and white-matter microstructure in the two younger age groups (60-66 and 72-78 years). These findings extend previous observations of magnified genetic effects on cognition in old age to white-matter integrity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 220, no 5, 2927-2938 p.
Aging, COMT, Dopamine, DTI, White-matter integrity
Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences Neurosciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121498DOI: 10.1007/s00429-014-0835-4ISI: 000360069200029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-121498DiVA: diva2:860583