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Dec
1969

Recent work suggests that a genetic variation associated with increased dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex (catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met; COMT) amplifies age-related changes in working memory performance. Research on younger adults indicates that the influence of dopamine-related genetic polymorphisms on working memory performance increases when testing the cognitive limits through training. To date, this has not been studied in older adults.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3977538PMCFound
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/414351DOI ListingPossible


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Sep
2003

Cognitive dysfunction in the working memory domain seems to be under genetic control and is a candidate intermediate phenotype in schizophrenia. Genes that affect working memory processing may contribute to risk for schizophrenia.
Working memory and attentional processing were assessed in a large and unselected sample of schizophrenic patients, their healthy siblings, and controls (N = 250).

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Jun
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According to a neurocomputational theory of cognitive aging, senescent changes in dopaminergic modulation lead to noisier and less differentiated processing. The authors tested a corollary hypothesis of this theory, according to which genetic predispositions of individual differences in prefrontal dopamine (DA) signaling may affect associations between memory functions, particularly in old age. Latent correlations between factors of verbal episodic memory and spatial working memory were compared between individuals carrying different allelic variants of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism, which influences DA availability in prefrontal cortex.

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Jun
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We hypothesized that normal variation in genes influencing the bioavailability of dopamine in prefrontal cortex contribute to inter-individual differences in working memory (WM), particularly in healthy old age. To test this, 858 healthy young, middle-aged, and older people were tested on a spatial WM task and genotyped for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT VAL158MET) and dopamine betahydroxylase (DBH; C-1021T) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Since these genes encode enzymes influencing levels of extracellular dopamine, important for WM, we reasoned that individuals with low activity alleles of each SNP (less efficient degradation of dopamine by COMT and less efficient conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine by DBH) would have higher levels of extracellular dopamine and therefore better WM performance.

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Oct
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Deficits in working memory and in prefrontal cortical physiology are important outcome measures in schizophrenia, and both have been associated with dopamine dysregulation and with a functional polymorphism (Val(108/158)Met) in the catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene that affects dopamine inactivation in the prefrontal cortex. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate in patients with schizophrenia the effect of COMT genotype on symptom variation, working memory performance, and prefrontal cortical physiology in response to treatment with an atypical antipsychotic drug.
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