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Can J Psychiatry. 2004 Feb;49(2):92-9.

Alzheimer's disease, genes, and environment: the value of international studies.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University Center for Aging Research, Indianapolis 46202-2872, USA. hhendri@iupui.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the construction of a disease model incorporating both genetic an environmental factors in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), using data generated from the Indianapolis-Ibadan dementia project (I-IDP).

METHOD:

The I-IDP is a longitudinal comparative study of the prevalence and incidence o dementia in 2 communities: elderly African Americans living in Indianapolis, Indiana, an Yoruba living in Ibadan, Nigeria.

RESULTS:

African Americans are more than twice as likely as Yoruba to develop AD. Possible explanations for this finding include genetic factors: the possession of the apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele does not increase risk for AD among Yoruba but confers a sligh increase in AD risk for African Americans. As well, environmental factors may play a role: African Americans have a higher risk of vascular risk factors than do Yoruba.

CONCLUSIONS:

International comparative studies, particularly those involving population from developing and developed countries, offer a unique opportunity for applying new in formation regarding population genetics to traditional AD risk factor research.

PMID:
15065742
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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