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Genetic components behind handedness and brain laterality in healthy elderly

Grant number: 11/17428-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2011
Effective date (End): February 28, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Human and Medical Genetics
Principal researcher:Mayana Zatz
Grantee:Michel Satya Naslavsky
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Handedness, or hand dominance, is the unequal distribution of manual dexterity between hands. In human populations, in average, 90% of individuals are more skilled with their right hand, while to other animals this ratio is around 1:1. The brain cortex controls this feature in a lateralized or asymmetrical manner. Within the population level, it is possible to detect variability throughout hand dominance and cortical functional laterality. Furthermore, it is suggested that in aging and in some neuropsychological disorders this asymmetry is gradually lost or even reverted. The genetic components and molecular pathways associated to the development and maintenance of this asymmetry are not clear yet. This study aims the investigation of handedness and brain laterality under the scope of genetics at a population level. A sample of around 1000 elder subjects (age e 60 years), cognitively healthy (MMSE e 26) from the city of São Paulo (Brazil) is being recruited to collection of demographic and clinical data, DNA and acquisition of neuroimages data from magnetic resonance. As it follows, we will perform a genome-wide association study with clinical and brain imaging data to detect markers with statistically associated with handedness trait and laterality indices. This study may provide additional comprehension over the mechanisms behind hand dominance and healthy aging, in search of genetic factor potentially associated to the maintenance of brain asymmetry in elder with preserved cognitive function. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
NASLAVSKY, MICHEL SATYA; YAMAMOTO, GUILHERME LOPES; DE ALMEIDA, TATIANA FERREIRA; EZQUINA, SUZANA A. M.; SUNAGA, DANIELE YUMI; PHO, NAM; BOZOKLIAN, DANIEL; MILKEWITZ SANDBERG, TATIANA ORLI; BRITO, LUCIANO ABREU; LAZAR, MONIZE; et al. Exomic variants of an elderly cohort of Brazilians in the ABraOM database. Human mutation, v. 38, n. 7, p. 751-763, . (98/14254-2, 08/57899-7, 13/08028-1, 11/17428-8)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
NASLAVSKY, Michel Satya. The contribution of population studies in healthy elders: genomic database, understanding aging and brain laterality. 2015. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências (IBIOC/SB) São Paulo.

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