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Brain Res. 2002 Sep 27;951(1):77-81.

Olfactory identification and apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele in mild cognitive impairment.

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Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases, School of Life Science, University of Science and Technology of China, 230027, Hefei, PR China.


To investigate olfactory identification and apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), we used Cross-Cultural Smell Identification Test (CC-SIT) from University of Pennsylvania to assess olfactory identification performance and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 (ApoE epsilon 4) allele in 28 patients with MCI and the 30 age-matched control subjects in present study. The Mann-Whitney U test demonstrated that the MCI group performed significantly worse on CC-SIT than the normal aging group (P<0.01). For MCI patients olfaction scores correlated positively with CAMCOG-C (r=0.61, P<0.01), but not with age, gender or years of education. In normal subjects, the CC-SIT score showed no significant associations with age, gender, years of education, or CAMCOG-C. As the least common allele in Chinese, epsilon 4 was found in 13.3% of controls and in 35.8% of MCI in this study. ApoE epsilon 4 was significantly higher in MCI group than normal group (chi(2)=4.65, P<0.01). There was a significant effect of allele status on odor identification: subjects with epsilon 4 allele were not able to identify as many odors as the subjects without epsilon 4 allele (P<0.01). These results suggested that the decreased olfactory identification in MCI may be a marker for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, and ApoE genotype may be part of the basis of olfactory identification decline.

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