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Alzheimer's & Dementia Translational Research & Clinical Interventions 2017 Ward.pdf (546.51 kB)

The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism moderates the effect of cognitive reserve on 36-month cognitive change in healthy older adults

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posted on 2023-05-19, 05:22 authored by Ward, DD, Andel, R, Saunders, NL, Thow, ME, Shannon Klekociuk, Aidan BindoffAidan Bindoff, James VickersJames Vickers

Introduction: Cognitive reserve (CR) and BDNF Val66Met are independently associated with the rate of cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. This study was designed to investigate the interactive effects of these variables on 36-month cognitive change in cognitively intact older adults.

Methods: Data for this investigation were obtained from 445 community-residing participants of the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project, who underwent genetic screening and annual assessment of neuropsychological, health, and psychosocial function.

Results: Our main result was that BDNF Val66Met moderated the relationship between baseline CR and change in executive function performance, in that CR-related differences in function decreased across the follow-up period in BDNF Val homozygotes, but became more pronounced in BDNF Met carriers. Similar effects were not observed within the other memory- and language-related cognitive domains.

Discussion: Inheritance of BDNF Met may be associated with a detrimental influence on the relationship between CR and cognitive change in cognitively intact older adults, but this effect may be restricted to the executive function domain.cognitively intact older adults, but this effect may be restricted to the executive function domain.


Publication title

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions






Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre


Elsevier Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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