COMT genotype and cognitive function: An 8-year longitudinal study in white and black elders

A. J. Fiocco, K. Lindquist, R. Ferrell, R. Li, E. M. Simonsick, M. Nalls, T. B. Harris, K. Yaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of dopamine, is necessary for cognitive function. Few studies have examined the prospective association between COMT (valmet) genotype and cognition in older adults. Methods: We assessed a biracial cohort of 2,858 elderly subjects without dementia who were followed for 8 years. The Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS) and Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) were administered at baseline and years 3, 5, and 8. COMT by race, gender, and APOE status interactions were examined. Results: Stratified by race and adjusted for covariates, repeated-measures mixed-effects models showed no association between COMT genotype and baseline cognitive function in black or white subjects. In white subjects, COMT was associated with change in 3MS (Met/Met:-2.3 [0.60], Met/Val:-1.7 [0.40], and Val/Val:-1.2 [0.50]) and DSST (Met/Met:-5.60 [1.00], Met/Val:-4.80 [0.70], Val/Val:-4.00 [0.90]). In black subjects, COMT was associated with change in the DSST (Met/Met:-4.10 [2.1], Met/Val:-4.80 [0.90], Val/Val-2.60 [1.00]). Conclusion: These findings suggest that the Val allele has a protective impact on cognitive decline in late life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1302
Number of pages7
JournalNeurology
Volume74
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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