Effects of the serotonin transporter polymorphism and history of major depression on overgeneral autobiographical memory

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is a key memory deficit in major depressive disorder (MDD). Much research has examined cognitive mechanisms underlying OGM, but little work has investigated potential neurobiological influences. There is preliminary evidence that a genetic serotonergic vulnerability coupled with depressive symptoms may be associated with other memory impairments, and experimental research suggests a role for serotonin in OGM. We investigated whether a polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) was associated with OGM in interaction with a lifetime history of MDD in 370 young adults in a longitudinal study of risk for emotional disorders. There was a significant interaction between 5-HTTLPR genotype and lifetime history of MDD in predicting OGM. Among S allele homozygotes, MDD history was associated with greater OGM, whereas no significant relationship between MDD history and OGM emerged among L carriers. Furthermore, there was evidence that a greater number of S alleles were associated with greater memory specificity in individuals without a history of MDD. Implications for understanding cognitive and biological risk for depression are discussed.

Additional Information

Cognition and Emotion 28(5)
Language: English
Date: 2013
overgeneral autobiographical memory, autobiographical memory specificity, 5-HTTLPR, depression, genetic association

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