The His452Tyr variant of the gene encoding the 5-HT2A receptor is specifically associated with consolidation of episodic memory in humans
Basic research has shown that serotonin plays an important role in memory formation. Accordingly, genetic variation of serotonin receptors can be expected to affect memory and to underlie, in part, the heritability of memory capacity. A study by de Quervain and colleagues found a highly significant association of the functional 5-HT2A receptor variant His452Tyr (rs6314) with long-term memory. We replicated this finding in a cohort of 133 adults (mean age 43.5 yr). Carriers of the Tyr allele showed poorer verbal delayed recall and recognition, while immediate recall and additional measures of attentional and executive function were not affected by the His452Tyr genotype. Results suggest a possible role of 5-HT2A receptors in memory consolidation. Serotonergic drugs may have the potential to improve memory.