New York: In a bid to better understand inheritance of memory loss, scientists have now discovered two common gene variants that are believed to be associated with memory performance.
During the study, nearly 30,000 participants who did not have dementia completed memory tests such as word recall and their entire genome was genotyped.
Using sophisticated statistical analysis, the genome was examined for segments that were associated with low memory scores.
The researchers found genetic variants near a gene known to harbour an increased risk of dementia (especially Alzheimer disease) and was associated with poor memory performance.
"Genetic variants associated with memory performance also predicted altered levels of expression of certain genes in the hippocampus, a key region of the brain for the consolidation of information," explained lead author Stephanie Debette, adjunct associate professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine.
The findings are a significant step towards better understanding how memory loss is inherited, noted the paper that appeared in the journal Biological Psychiatry.