Off-campus WSU users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your WSU access ID and password, then click the "Off-campus Download" button below.

Non-WSU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

John L. Woodard

Abstract

LASS1 is a candidate longevity gene in humans. It was hypothesized that the distribution of LASS1 allelic combinations would differ between young controls and centenarians. Further, we hypothesized that LASS1 would influence centenarian functioning across multiple domains, including cognitive and physical functioning, functional capacity, and inflammation. We examined these possible associations in the whole centenarian sample and after stratifying this age group by sex (males and females) and ethnicity (African and European Origin). Findings did not reveal significant proportional differences in allelic combinations between young controls and centenarians. LASS1 allelic combination type had a significant main effect on global cognitive functioning, memory, IADLs, and physical strength in the centenarian sample as a whole. Simple effects were observed in males and females, but not in either ethnicity. Allelic combination types associated with healthier functioning were not consistent across outcome measures; however, CG/AG was reliably associated with negative outcomes. Results indicate that LASS1 plays a modest role in centenarian functioning, for at least one allelic combination.