Recent Research Articles from UNTHSC

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Arsenic exposure, AS3MT polymorphism, and neuropsychological functioning among rural dwelling adults and elders: a cross-sectional study.

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 3:04am
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Arsenic exposure, AS3MT polymorphism, and neuropsychological functioning among rural dwelling adults and elders: a cross-sectional study.

Environ Health. 2014;13(1):15

Authors: Edwards M, Hall J, Gong G, O'Bryant SE

Abstract
BACKGROUND: The aim was to examine the link between low-level arsenic exposure and cognitive functioning, and the potential role of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP A35991G, rs10748835) of the AS3MT gene in modifying this link.
METHODS: Data were analyzed on 526 participants from Project FRONTIER. Hierarchical linear regressions were created with neuropsychological raw index scores as the outcome variable and arsenic exposure and AS3MT SNP as different predictor variables.
RESULTS: Within the total sample, arsenic exposure was negatively associated with language (p < 0.001) and executive functioning (p < 0.001). Among those with the AA genotype of the AS3MT gene, arsenic levels were negatively associated with language (p < 0.001), attention (p = 0.01), and executive functioning (p = 0.04). Among those with the AG genotype, arsenic levels were positively associated with immediate (p = 0.04) and delayed memory (p < 0.001) and negatively associated with executive functioning (p = 0.03). Among those with the GG genotype, arsenic levels were negatively associated with visuospatial functioning (p = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS: Low-level arsenic exposure is associated with cognitive functioning; however, this association is modified by an AS3MT gene.

PMID: 24621105 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Molecular neuropsychology: creation of test-specific blood biomarker algorithms.

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 3:04am
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Molecular neuropsychology: creation of test-specific blood biomarker algorithms.

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2014;37(1-2):45-57

Authors: O'Bryant SE, Xiao G, Barber R, Cullum CM, Weiner M, Hall J, Edwards M, Grammas P, Wilhelmsen K, Doody R, Diaz-Arrastia R, Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Prior work on the link between blood-based biomarkers and cognitive status has largely been based on dichotomous classifications rather than detailed neuropsychological functioning. The current project was designed to create serum-based biomarker algorithms that predict neuropsychological test performance.
METHODS: A battery of neuropsychological measures was administered. Random forest analyses were utilized to create neuropsychological test-specific biomarker risk scores in a training set that were entered into linear regression models predicting the respective test scores in the test set. Serum multiplex biomarker data were analyzed on 108 proteins from 395 participants (197 Alzheimer patients and 198 controls) from the Texas Alzheimer's Research and Care Consortium.
RESULTS: The biomarker risk scores were significant predictors (p < 0.05) of scores on all neuropsychological tests. With the exception of premorbid intellectual status (6.6%), the biomarker risk scores alone accounted for a minimum of 12.9% of the variance in neuropsychological scores. Biomarker algorithms (biomarker risk scores and demographics) accounted for substantially more variance in scores. Review of the variable importance plots indicated differential patterns of biomarker significance for each test, suggesting the possibility of domain-specific biomarker algorithms.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide proof of concept for a novel area of scientific discovery, which we term 'molecular neuropsychology'.

PMID: 24107792 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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