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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Oct 9;406(3):235-9. Epub 2006 Aug 14.

Apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele in familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Experimental Unit, Donostia Hospital, San Sebastián, Spain.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease (AD). Common risk factors for both diseases have been explored to study potential etiologic interactions between these two neurodegenerative disorders. The APOE epsilon4 allele, previously associated with AD, has also been associated with risk of PD and with the presence of some clinical features in PD patients. However, the role of APOE epsilon4 allele in risk of PD remains unclear. We studied the distribution of APOE alleles in 276 unrelated familial and sporadic PD patients and in 212 controls. Patients and controls were classified by ethnicity. No genetic heterogeneity between Basques and people from other regions of Spain was found. No significant differences in APOE allele distribution between PD patients and controls were found; however, lower epsilon4 allele frequency was observed when the sporadic PD group was analyzed separately. By contrast, an increase in epsilon4 allele frequency was found in familial PD patients with cognitive decline. We conclude that the APOE epsilon4 allele may be associated with the risk of developing PD in isolated cases and that it is linked to the presence of cognitive decline in familial PD in our sample.

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