Genetic influences vary by age and sex: Trajectories of the association of cholinergic system variants and theta band event related oscillations

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Feb 28:2023.02.27.530318. doi: 10.1101/2023.02.27.530318.


To characterize systemic changes in genetic effects on brain development, the age variation of the associations of cholinergic genetic variants and theta band event-related oscillations (EROs) was studied in a sample of 2140 adolescents and young adults, ages 12 to 25 from the COGA prospective study. The theta band EROs were elicited in visual and auditory oddball (target detection) tasks and measured by EEG recording. Associations were found to vary with age, sex, task modality (auditory or visual), and scalp locality. Seven of the twenty-one muscarinic and nicotinic cholinergic SNPs studied in the analysis, from CHRM2, CHRNA3, CHRNA5, and CHRNB4, had significant effects on theta band EROs with considerable age spans for some sex-modality combination. No SNP-age-modality combination had significant effects in the same direction for males and females. Results suggest that nicotinic receptor associations are stronger before age 18, while muscarinic receptor associations are stronger after age 18.

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