Apolipoprotein E genotypes in hospitalized elderly patients with vascular dementia

Giuseppe Orsitto, Davide Seripa, Francesco Panza, Marilisa Franceschi, Leandro Cascavilla, Giuliana Placentino, Maria Giovanna Matera, Francesco Paris, Cristiano Capurso, Vincenzo Solfrizzi, Bruno Dallapiccola, Alberto Pilotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Polymorphism in the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is the major genetic risk factor associated with late-onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD). However, it is still unclear if a relationship exists between the APOE ε4 allele and vascular dementia (VaD) in elderly subjects. Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of APOE alleles in elderly patients with VaD compared to AD patients and to control subjects with no cognitive impairment (NoCI). Patients and Methods: We evaluated 396 consecutive patients aged ≥65 years with definite or suspected cognitive impairment with a clinical (Mini-Mental State Examination, Clinical Dementia Rating, Geriatric Depression Scale), functional (Activities of Daily Living, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living), comorbidity (Cumulative Illness Rating Scale) and instrumental (CT scan, NMR) assessment. Diagnosis of dementia was made according to NINCDS-ADRDA and NINDS-AIREN Work Group and the DSM-IV. APOE genotypes were analyzed by a recently described method resulting in positive/negative chain reaction products for each APOE genotype. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Pearson χ2, the Kruskal-Wallis test and the ANOVA post hoc comparisons. Results: A total of 287 elderly patients (males = 138, females = 149, mean age = 77.8 ± 6.9 years, range = 65-98) with diagnoses of VaD (n = 97), AD (n = 82) or NoCI (n = 108) were included in the study. A significantly higher APOE ε4 allele frequency was observed in AD patients compared to VaD and/or NoCI subjects, while no differences were found between VaD patients and subjects with NoCI (AD = 24.3%, VaD = 10.3, NoCI = 8.7, p <0.05). Furthermore, a significantly lower APOE ε3 allele frequency was observed in AD patients compared to VaD and/or NoCI subjects but not between VaD and NoCI patients (AD = 71.3%, VaD = 80.9, NoCI = 83.4, p <0.05). No significant differences were observed in the APOE ε2 allele (VaD = 8.8%, AD = 4.4, NoCI = 7.9, p = n.s.) among the 3 groups. Conclusions: In this population, the frequency of the APOE ε4 allele is lower in VaD than in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-333
Number of pages7
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Vascular dementia, elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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