Cognitive and motor functioning in elderly glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers

Eileen E. Moran, Cuiling Wang, Mindy Katz, Laurie Ozelius, Alison Schwartz, Jelena Pavlovic, Roberto A. Ortega, Richard B. Lipton, Molly E. Zimmerman, Rachel Saunders-Pullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene are a strong genetic risk factor for the development of Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy Bodies. However the penetrance of GBA mutations is low for these diseases in heterozygous carriers. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between mutation status and cognitive and motor functioning in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. Using linear mixed effects models, we examined the effect of heterozygous mutation status on 736 community-dwelling older adults (≥70 years) without dementia or Parkinson's disease assessed over an average of 6 years, 28 of whom had a single GBA mutation (primarily N370S). Verbal memory was measured using the picture version of the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test, and carriers showed significantly (p < 0.05) greater decline in verbal memory over time. There was no difference in motor function or any other cognitive domain. Taken together, these results suggest an effect, but an overall limited burden, of harboring a single GBA mutation in aging mutation carriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239.e1-239.e7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • GBA
  • Glucocerebrosidase
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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