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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Jan 23;393(1):74-7. Epub 2005 Oct 17.

Polymorphisms in the gene encoding 11B-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD11B1) and lifetime cognitive change.

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Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, 7 George Square, UK.


A rare polymorphism in the gene encoding 11B-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD11B1: rs846911-C/A) has been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. We tested the hypothesis that this and 2 other HSD11B1 polymorphisms (rs12086634-G/T and rs846910-A/G) were associated with lifetime cognitive change in humans. Subjects were 194 participants of the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932 who took the same well-validated mental test at age 11 and age 79. The subjects represented the highest and lowest quintiles with respect to cognitive decline between ages 11 and 79. Despite having non-significantly different IQs at age 11, by age 79 the groups had mean (S.D.) IQs of 80.3 (14.1) and 109.6 (9.1), respectively (p<.001). The polymorphism rs846911-C/A was absent from both groups. There were no significant differences in the frequency of polymorphisms of rs12086634-G/T (p=.91) and rs846910-A/G (p=.90) between the groups. We conclude that these variants in HSD11B1 are not significant contributors to the range of cognitive ageing examined here.

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