Abstract

Episodic memory is a polygenic trait influenced by different molecular mechanisms. We used PET and a candidate gene approach to investigate how individual differences at the molecular level translate into between-person differences in episodic memory performance of elderly persons. Specifically, we examined the interactive effects between hippocampal dopamine D2 receptor (D2DR) availability and candidate genes relevant for hippocampus-related memory functioning. We show that the positive effects of high D2DR availability in the hippocampus on episodic memory are confined to carriers of advantageous genotypes of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, rs6265) and the kidney and brain expressed protein (KIBRA, rs17070145) polymorphisms. By contrast, these polymorphisms did not modulate the positive relationship between caudate D2DR availability and episodic memory.

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