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Poster A41

Do Psychosocial Factors Interact with ApoE Status to Predict Cognitive Decline in African Americans?

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Neke Nsor1, Kyle Bourassa2, Lisa Barnes3, Casey Brown1; 1Georgetown University, 2Duke University Medical Center, 3Rush University Medical Center

African Americans are disproportionately affected by cognitive decline, yet underrepresented in studies examining biopsychosocial factors related to decline. The present study examines whether psychosocial factors including cognitive activities (e.g., reading, games) and social engagement (e.g., participating in social groups) interact with biological factors (ApoE) to predict cognitive decline in African Americans. This study included 734 African American adults from the Minority Aging Research Study (MARS), aged 65 and older, who underwent annual cognitive testing across 10 years. At baseline, they completed genetic testing and reported on their level of cognitive activities and social engagement. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the effects of cognitive activities and social engagement on cognitive decline, and the moderating role of APOE alleles over the ten-year period. Results showed that cognitive activities were not associated with cognitive decline, but less social engagement predicted greater cognitive decline. ApoE (the number of ε4 or ε2 alleles) did not moderate the effects of cognitive activities and social engagement on cognitive decline. However, APOE alleles had an independent additive effect on cognitive decline, such that a greater number of ε4 alleles was associated with greater cognitive decline, whereas a greater number of ε2 alleles was associated with less cognitive decline. Results highlight the importance of social engagement and number of ε2 alleles for delaying cognitive decline in African Americans.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Development & aging


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April 13–16  |  2024