Get access

Genetic and Lifestyle Predictors of 15-Year Longitudinal Change in Episodic Memory

Authors

  • Maria Josefsson MSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Umeå Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Umeå, Sweden
    • Department of Statistics, Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xavier de Luna PhD,

    1. Department of Statistics, Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    2. Aging and Living Condition program, Center for Population Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sara Pudas MSc,

    1. Umeå Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Umeå, Sweden
    2. Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Lars-Göran Nilsson PhD,

    1. Aging and Living Condition program, Center for Population Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    2. Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    3. Department of Radiation Sciences and Integrative Medical Biology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Lars Nyberg PhD

    1. Umeå Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Umeå, Sweden
    2. Aging and Living Condition program, Center for Population Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    3. Stockholm Brain Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Maria Josefsson, Department of Statistics, Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail: maria.josefsson@stat.umu.se

Abstract

Objectives

To reveal distinct longitudinal trajectories in episodic memory over 15 years and to identify demographic, lifestyle, health-related, and genetic predictors of stability or decline.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Setting

The Betula Project, Umeå, Sweden.

Participants

One thousand nine hundred fifty-four healthy participants aged 35 to 85 at baseline.

Measurements

Memory was assessed according to validated episodic memory tasks in participants from a large population-based sample. Data were analyzed using a random-effects pattern-mixture model that considered the effect of attrition over two to four longitudinal sessions. Logistic regression was used to determine significant predictors of stability or decline relative to average change in episodic memory.

Results

Of 1,558 participants with two or more test sessions, 18% were classified as maintainers and 13% as decliners, and 68% showed age-typical average change. More educated and more physically active participants, women, and those living with someone were more likely to be classified as maintainers, as were carriers of the met allele of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene. Less educated participants, those not active in the labor force, and men were more likely to be classified as decliners, and the apolipoprotein E ɛ4 allele was more frequent in decliners.

Conclusion

Quantitative, attrition-corrected assessment of longitudinal changes in memory can reveal substantial heterogeneity in aging trajectories, and genetic and lifestyle factors predict such heterogeneity.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary