Gene-based GWAS and biological pathway analysis of the resilience of executive functioning

Shubhabrata Mukherjee, Sungeun Kim, Vijay K. Ramanan, Laura E. Gibbons, Kwangsik Nho, M. Maria Glymour, Nilüfer Ertekin-Taner, Thomas J. Montine, Andrew J. Saykin, Paul K. Crane

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20 Scopus citations


Resilience in executive functioning (EF) is characterized by high EF measured by neuropsychological test performance despite structural brain damage from neurodegenerative conditions. We previously reported single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genome-wide association study (GWAS) results for EF resilience. Here, we report gene- and pathway-based analyses of the same resilience phenotype, using an optimal SNP-set (Sequence) Kernel Association Test (SKAT) for gene-based analyses (conservative threshold for genome-wide significance = 0.05/18,123 = 2.8 × 10-6) and the gene-set enrichment package GSA-SNP for biological pathway analyses (False discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05). Gene-based analyses found a genome-wide significant association between RNASE13 and EF resilience (p = 1.33 × 10-7). Genetic pathways involved with dendritic/neuron spine, presynaptic membrane, postsynaptic density, etc., were enriched with association to EF resilience. Although replication of these results is necessary, our findings indicate the potential value of gene- and pathway-based analyses in research on determinants of cognitive resilience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 25 2014


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Executive functioning
  • Genes
  • Memory
  • Pathways
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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    Mukherjee, S., Kim, S., Ramanan, V. K., Gibbons, L. E., Nho, K., Glymour, M. M., Ertekin-Taner, N., Montine, T. J., Saykin, A. J., & Crane, P. K. (2014). Gene-based GWAS and biological pathway analysis of the resilience of executive functioning. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 8(1), 110-118.