Identifier

etd-07072009-142414

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This study examined the relationships among cognitive function, physical health, social network characteristics, and apolipoprotein (APOE) genotype in participants from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study. Prior literature has shown that the ε4 allele of APOE is associated with cognitive deficits (Wisdom, Callahan, & Hawkins, 2009). This study failed to find any relation between APOE genotype (ε4 carrier vs. non-carrier) and cognitive ability after controlling for age and education level. Tests for physical health mediation and social network moderation did not alter the ε4/cognition null results. This finding conflicts with prior research suggesting that physical activity and health modify the association between the ε4 allele and cognition (Deeny et al., 2008; Haan et al., 1999). Prevalence ratings of the ε4 allele significantly decreased with age, where the oldest-old had approximately 50% fewer ε4 carriers than the younger age groups. Results from the current study indicate that the ε4 allele is predictive of mortality rather than cognitive ability.

Date

2009

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Katie Cherry

Included in

Psychology Commons

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