Estrogen Receptor α Polymorphisms and the Risk of Cognitive Decline: A 2-Year Follow-Up Study

Suk Ling Ma, Nelson Leung Sang Tang*, Grace Tak Yu Leung, Ada Wai Tung Fung, Linda Chiu Wa Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The neuroprotective role of estrogen is supported by biochemical studies, but the results from clinical trials of estrogen replacement therapy on cognitive decline are controversial. One possible missing link might be the interindividual difference in estrogen receptor expression. In this study, the association of estrogen receptor α (ESR1) polymorphisms and cognitive decline was investigated.

Methods: Chinese older adults (n = 284) were recruited, and the cognitive profile was follow-up over 2-year period. Twenty ESR1 polymorphisms were investigated and correlated with the cognitive decline for the subjects.

Results: Significant association was found between ESR1 polymorphisms (rs9340799 [ESR1+351], rs1801132 [ESR1+975], rs6557171, rs9397456, and rs1884049) and subjects with no dementia (Clinical Dementia Rating, CDR 0) and very mild dementia (CDR 0.5). Several ESR1 polymorphisms were associated with cognitive decline as assessed by Chinese versions of Mini-Mental State Examination and Alzheimer Disease Association Scales-Cognitive Subscale. Different sets of ESR1 polymorphisms were associated with cognitive decline from CDR 0 to 0.5 and CDR 0.5 to 1. ESR1 polymorphisms (rs3853248, rs22334693 [ESR1+397], rs9340799 [ESR1+351], rs9397456, rs1801132 [ESR1+975], rs2179922, rs932477, and rs9341016) were associated with the deterioration of episodic memory among subjects with baseline CDR 0, indicating these polymorphisms might be markers for episodic memory decline at an earlier stage.

Conclusion: This study showed association between ESR polymorphisms and cognitive decline or specific areas in cognitive profile. These findings might be useful in identifying individuals at risk for early intervention, and more research is required to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number5
Early online date24 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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