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Psychiatr Genet. 2005 Dec;15(4):271-5.

Apolipoprotein gene E4 allele promoter polymorphisms as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia, USA.


Alzheimer's disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by progressive cognitive decline and distinct neuropathology. The apolipoprotein gene E4 allele (APOE 4) is a major risk factor for the disease. Promoter polymorphisms at -491 and -427 may also contribute to the risk. We examined the two polymorphisms in 178 Alzheimer's patients and 141 controls. The -491AA genotype was overrepresented among the patients (68 versus 54%, P=0.01). However, in patients who were APOE4 carriers, the -491AA genotype more than doubled the risk [odds ratio (OR)=2.5; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.2-5.4], especially in combination with -427TT [odds ratio (OR)=3.3; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.5-7.7]. Moreover, the -491A/-427T/APOE4/APOC1A haplotype was threefold higher for patients. These results contribute to the evidence that regulation of APOE4 expression modulates risk for Alzheimer's disease.

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