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Transl Neurodegener. 2016 Nov 16;5:20. doi: 10.1186/s40035-016-0067-z. eCollection 2016.

Is ApoE ɛ 4 a good biomarker for amyloid pathology in late onset Alzheimer's disease?

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Department of Neurology, Yuhuangding Hospital Affiliated to Qingdao Medical University, Qingdao, Shandong 264000 People's Republic of China.
McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, McGill University, Douglas Institute, 6825 Lasalle Boul, Montreal, QC H4H 1R3 Canada.
Department of Neurology, Yantaishan Hospital, Yantai City, Shandong 264000 People's Republic of China.
Department of Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400010 People's Republic of China.
Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
Contributed equally


Amyloid plaques are pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and biomarkers such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) β-amyloid 1-42 (Aβ1-42) and amyloid positron emission tomographic (PET) imaging are important in diagnosing amyloid pathology in vivo. ɛ4 allele of the Apolipoprotein E gene (ApoE ɛ 4), which is a major genetic risk factor for late onset AD, is an important genetic biomarker for AD pathophysiology. It has been shown that ApoE ɛ 4 is involved in Aβ deposition and formation of amyloid plaques. Studies have suggested the utility of peripheral blood ApoE ɛ 4 in AD diagnosis and risk assessment. However it is still a matter of debate whether ApoE ɛ 4 status would improve prediction of amyloid pathology and represent a cost-effective alternative to amyloid PET or CSF Aβ in resource-limited settings in late onset AD. Recent research suggest that the mean prevalence of PET amyloid-positivity is 95% in ApoE ɛ 4-positive AD patients. This short review aims to provide an updated information on the relationship between ApoE ɛ 4 and amyloid biomarkers.


Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid; Apolipoprotein E ɛ4

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