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Neurosci Lett. 2010 Jul 26;479(2):123-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.05.041. Epub 2010 May 20.

Genetic variation of CHRNA4 does not modulate attention in Parkinson's disease.

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Mitochondrial Research Group, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterised by cognitive decline and attentional impairment. Recently, variation in CHRNA4 (rs1044396) has been shown to affect visual and auditory function, affecting speed and attention, in healthy adults. An association between CHRNA4 variation and PD has not been shown. To determine the link between CHRNA4 variation and attentional deficit in PD. A genotype-phenotype correlation between the common CHRNA4:rs1044396 variant and several baseline parameters of attention was carried out in a large cohort of PD cases (n=222) and controls (n=159). We identified significant associations to measures of attention in PD patients compared to controls. However, we found no significant link to CHRNA4:rs1044396 genotypes to baseline attention variables in PD or in controls. We conclude that CHRNA4:rs1044396 genotypes do not significantly influence the attentional deficit found in PD patients. Contrary to previous studies, we also found no significant influence in healthy age-matched controls.

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