Title page for ETD etd-07072009-142414

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Silva, Jennifer Lee
URN etd-07072009-142414
Title Apolipoprotein Status and Cognitive Functioning in Adulthood: Role of Physical Health and Social Network Characteristics
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Katie Cherry Committee Chair
Emily Elliott Committee Member
Jason Hicks Committee Member
Scott Wilks Committee Member
George Strain Dean's Representative
  • social support
  • health
  • memory
  • cognition
  • apolipoprotein
  • aging
Date of Defense 2009-06-10
Availability unrestricted
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.
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