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Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind$
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Pamela M. Greenwood and Raja Parasuraman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262017145

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262017145.001.0001

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Nurture via Nature: Genetics, Environment, and Cognition

Nurture via Nature: Genetics, Environment, and Cognition

(p.187) 12 Nurture via Nature: Genetics, Environment, and Cognition
Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind

Pamela M. Greenwood

Raja Parasuraman

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the effects of genetic modulation on cognitive aging. The use of molecular genetics for understanding cognition genetics is discussed along with the advantages of molecular methods. Identification of novel disease genes via genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of neuropsychiatric diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and autism, is presented. The use of candidate-gene studies to figure out the relationship between genes and cognition is explored along with the method’s findings and limitations. The importance of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene in researching aging and the development of Alzheimer’s disease is presented, as are studies that focus on the impact of interaction of genes and the physical environment on cognition. The case of schizophrenia is discussed where mental illness is caused by genetic disposition and stressful life events.

Keywords:   genetic modulation, molecular genetics, cognition genetics, GWAS, neuropsychiatric diseases, apolipoprotein E gene, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia

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