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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Nov;55(11):1777-85.

Association between apolipoprotein E4 and cognitive decline in elderly adults.

Author information

1
Department of Vascular Biochemistry, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland. chris.packard@clinmed.gla.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the influence of apolipoprotein E on cognitive decline in a cohort of elderly men and women.

DESIGN:

Prospective study.

SETTING:

Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

PARTICIPANTS:

Five thousand eight hundred four subjects aged 70 to 82 from the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER).

MEASUREMENTS:

Subjects were assessed at baseline and over a mean 3.2-year (range 0.7-4.2) follow-up for memory (Picture-Word Recall), speed of information processing (Stroop and Letter-Digit Coding), global cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination), and activities of daily living.

RESULTS:

At baseline, subjects with apolipoprotein E(4) versus those without E(4) had poorer memory performance (mean score difference -0.20 (95% confidence interval (CI)=-0.31 to -0.09) for immediate recall and -0.32 (95% CI=-0.48 to -0.16) for delayed recall and slower information processing (difference in Stroop, 2.79 seconds, (95% CI=1.20-4.28); Letter-Digit score, -0.36, (95% CI=-0.77-0.05). Subjects with apolipoprotein E(4) showed a greater decline in immediate (-0.22, 95% CI=-0.33 to -0.11) and delayed (-0.30, 95% CI=-0.46 to -0.15) memory scores but no significant change in speed of information processing (Stroop, P=.17; Letter-Digit, P=.06). Memory scores decreased 2.5% from baseline in those without E(4), 4.3% in E(4) heterozygotes (P=.01 for immediate and P=.03 for delayed, vs no E(4)) and 8.9% to 13.8% in E(4) homozygotes (P=.04 for immediate and P=.004 for delayed, vs heterozygotes). Apolipoprotein E(4) was associated with greater decline in instrumental activities of daily living (P<.001). Cognitive decline was not associated with lipoprotein levels.

CONCLUSION:

Findings in PROSPER indicate that E(4) is associated with more-rapid cognitive decline and may, therefore, predispose to dementia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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