The ε4 isoform of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) has been proposed as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), while the possible role of the ε2 allele in AD is controversial. We have studied the ApoE genotype in 38 patients with early-onset AD (EOAD) and in 43 patients with late-onset AD (LOAD). In the EOAD group we observed a significant increase of ε4 allele frequency as compared with normal controls, while there was a more than 3-fold decrease of ε2 allele frequency that did not reach statistical significance. In the LOAD group we found a highly significant increase of ε4 allele frequency as compared with normal controls, while there was a significant decrease of ε2 allele frequency. In both the EOAD and LOAD groups, no significant difference was observed between ε4 carriers and ε4 noncarriers as for age at disease onset, disease duration, and Mini-Mental State score at observation. However, in both EOAD and LOAD groups a statistical trend towards a longer disease duration was observed in ε4 carriers. In both the EOAD and LOAD groups, disease severity was compared in ε4 carriers versus ε4 noncarriers by means of analyses of covariance, with disease duration as covariate. No significant difference between ε4 carriers and ε4 noncarriers was observed in both EOAD and LOAD. The results of the present study confirm that ε4 allele seems to be associated with an increased risk for sporadic AD, while the significant decrease of ε2 allele frequency in the LOAD group supports the hypothesis of a possible protective role of ε2 allele in AD.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Apolipoprotein E
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology