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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008 Jan;33(1):68-76. Epub 2007 Nov 7.

Association between genetic variants of IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha cytokines and cognitive performance in the elderly general population of the MEMO-study.

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Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, James Cook University, QLD 4814, Australia.


This study is to investigate the associations between specific polymorphisms in three cytokine genes and domains of cognitive functioning in a population based study in the elderly. In a cross-sectional study of 369 community dwelling elderly subjects we examined the relationships between the polymorphisms IL-1beta-1418C-->T, IL-6-572G-->C and TNF-alpha-308G-->A and the cognitive function domains memory, processing speed and motor function using an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Linear regression models were used in the analysis and results adjusted for multiple comparisons. A significant association between the IL-1beta-1418C-->T polymorphism and memory performance was found with carriers of the T allele (dominant model) having worse memory performance than those with the C allele. In addition, a significant association between the TNF-alpha-308G-->A polymorphism and processing speed was observed, indicating better performance for heterozygous or homozygous carriers of the A allele. These results remained significant after adjustment for known confounders of cognitive function and additional Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Our study provides first results on detrimental effects of the IL-1beta-1418C-->T polymorphism on memory performance and neuroprotective effects of the TNF-alpha-308G-->A polymorphism on processing speed in elderly individuals. Further research is needed to prospectively examine changes in cognitive performance in relation to cytokine genotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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