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J Aging Res. 2011;2011:362189. doi: 10.4061/2011/362189. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Genetic risk factors for longitudinal changes in structural MRI in former organolead workers.

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Rush University Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Room 1038, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


This study examined associations between polymorphisms in three genes, apolipoprotein E (APOE), angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), and vitamin D receptor (VDR), and longitudinal change in brain volumes and white matter lesions (WML) as well as effect modification by cardiovascular factors and tibia lead concentrations. Two MRIs, an average of 5 years apart, were obtained for 317 former organolead workers and 45 population-based controls. Both regions-of-interest and voxel-wise analyses were conducted. APOE ε3/ε4 and ε4/ε4 genotypes were associated with less decline in white matter volumes. There was some evidence of interaction between genetic polymorphisms and cardiovascular risk factors (ACE and high-density lipoprotein; VDR and diabetes) on brain volume decline. The VDR FokI ff genotype was associated with an increase in WML (no association for APOE or ACE). This study expands our understanding of how genetic precursors of dementia and cardiovascular diseases are related to changes in brain structure.

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