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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2013 Mar;15(1):120-6.

Effect of plasma lipids and APOE genotype on cognitive decline.

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  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Japan.


in English, French, Spanish

A central tenet of brain aging is that "what is good for the heart is good for the brain." We examined the combined effect of plasma lipids and APOE genotype on cognitive function in elderly individuals. Plasma concentrations of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and apolipoprotein E (apoE) were evaluated in 622 community-dwelling individuals aged 65 years and older. We investigated the associations between plasma lipids and cognitive function in APOE4 carrier (E4+) and APOE4 noncarrier (E4-) groups using 3-year longitudinal data. At baseline and 3 years later, cognitive scores were correlated with plasma apoE levels in both E4- and E4+, and HDL level in E4-. Our findings suggest that an interaction between apoE and HDL is facilitated by APOE4, and is possibly linked with an enhancement of neuroplasticity and with resultant protective effects on cognitive function in later life. Preservation of higher plasma apoE and HDL from early life is proposed as a possible strategy for maintaining cognitive function in later life, especially for APOE4-positive individuals.


APOE genotype; apolipoprotein E; cognitive decline; high-density lipoprotein; low-density lipoprotein; total cholesterol; triglyceride

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