Journal Article

Variation in the uric acid transporter gene (<i>SLC2A9</i>) and memory performance

Lorna M. Houlihan, Niki D. Wyatt, Sarah E. Harris, Caroline Hayward, Alan J. Gow, Riccardo E. Marioni, Mark W.J. Strachan, Jackie F. Price, John M. Starr, Alan F. Wright and Ian J. Deary

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 19, issue 11, pages 2321-2330
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Variation in the uric acid transporter gene (SLC2A9) and memory performance

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Understanding human cognitive ageing is important to improve the health of an increasing elderly population. Serum uric acid levels have been linked to many ageing illnesses and are also linked to cognitive functioning, though the direction of the association is equivocal. SLC2A9, a urate transporter, influences uric acid levels. This study first tested four SLC2A9 SNPs, previously associated with uric acid levels, in ∼1000 Scots: the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936). These participants were tested on general cognitive ability at ages 11 and 70. At age 70, they took a battery of diverse cognitive tests. Two replication cohorts were investigated. First, the LBC1921, who were tested on general cognitive ability at age 11. At ages 79 (n = 520), 83 (n = 281) and age 87 (n = 177), they completed cognitive ability test batteries. Second, the Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study (ET2DS) were tested for cognitive abilities aged between 60 and 75 years (n = 1066). All analyses were adjusted for age, gender, body mass index and either childhood cognitive ability test score (LBC) or vocabulary—a measure of prior cognitive ability in ET2DS. Significant associations were detected with SLC2A9 and a general memory factor in LBC1936 and other individual cognitive ability tests (lowest P = 0.0002). The association with logical memory replicated in LBC1921 at all ages (all P < 0.05). These associations were not replicated in ET2DS (all P > 0.1). If the positive associations withstand, then this study could suggest that higher uric acid levels may be associated with increased performance on memory-related tasks.

Journal Article.  8117 words. 

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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