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Pharmacogenomics J. 2004;4(5):332-5.

Differential qualitative responses to rivastigmine in APOE epsilon 4 carriers and noncarriers.

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Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


This retrospective analysis of two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in patients with mild to moderately severe AD investigated the efficacy of rivastigmine 6-12 mg/day on cognitive outcomes in patients with or without the apolipoprotein (APOE) epsilon4 allele. APOE data were collected from patients who consented to pharmacogenetic testing. Treatment differences within each subgroup were compared, using the Observed Case (OC) population. The APOE epsilon4 and non-APOE epsilon4 subgroups comprised 246 and 121 patients, respectively. Overall, APOE epsilon4 noncarriers showed greater decline than carriers (P<0.05). However, at 26 weeks, placebo-treated APOE epsilon4 patients declined 3.04 points below baseline on the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog), and rivastigmine-treated patients improved by 1.67 points. Non-APOE epsilon4 placebo-treated patients declined by 4.59 points and rivastigmine-treated patients declined by 0.48 points. Thus, non-APOE epsilon4 carriers showed a less favorable course under either placebo or rivastigmine, but both genotype-defined subgroups showed quantitatively similar responses to therapy (both P<0.05 vs placebo).

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