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Psychiatry Res. 2013 Dec 30;214(3):212-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2013.09.006. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

APOE associated hemispheric asymmetry of entorhinal cortical thickness in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Division of Old Age Psychiatry and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany; DZNE, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dresden, Germany. Electronic address: markus.donix@uniklinikum-dresden.de.

Abstract

Across species structural and functional hemispheric asymmetry is a fundamental feature of the brain. Environmental and genetic factors determine this asymmetry during brain development and modulate its interaction with brain disorders. The e4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE-4) is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, associated with regionally specific effects on brain morphology and function during the life span. Furthermore, entorhinal and hippocampal hemispheric asymmetry could be modified by pathology during Alzheimer's disease development. Using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and a cortical unfolding technique we investigated whether carrying the APOE-4 allele influences hemispheric asymmetry in the entorhinal cortex and the hippocampus among patients with Alzheimer's disease as well as in middle-aged and older cognitively healthy individuals. APOE-4 carriers showed a thinner entorhinal cortex in the left hemisphere when compared with the right hemisphere across all participants. Non-carriers of the allele showed this asymmetry only in the patient group. Cortical thickness in the hippocampus did not vary between hemispheres among APOE-4 allele carriers and non-carriers. The APOE-4 allele modulates hemispheric asymmetry in entorhinal cortical thickness. Among Alzheimer's disease patients, this asymmetry might be less dependent on the APOE genotype and a more general marker of incipient disease pathology.

KEYWORDS:

APOE-4 allele; Cortical unfolding; Entorhinal cortex; Hippocampus; Magnetic resonance imaging

PMID:
24080518
PMCID:
PMC3851589
DOI:
10.1016/j.pscychresns.2013.09.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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