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J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;71(3):741-750. doi: 10.3233/JAD-181132.

Physical Activity, APOE Genotype, and Cognitive Decline: Exploring Gene-Environment Interactions in the UK Biobank.

Author information

1
Australian Centre for Precision Health, University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute, North Terrace, Adelaide, Australia.
2
University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK.
3
The Alan Turing Institute, London, UK.
4
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia.
5
Population, Policy and Practice, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype affects the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with inconclusive evidence on the opportunity to mitigate related adverse effects by lifestyle changes.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the individual and interactive associations of APOE and objectively-measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary activity with cognitive decline.

METHODS:

We used data from middle-aged and older UK Biobank participants with repeat tests on visuospatial memory (n = 52,767) and fluid intelligence (n = 19,713), and who also took part in the accelerometer sub-study. PA and sedentary activity were assessed by a wrist-worn accelerometer over a seven-day period. Cognitive decline was defined as >1 standard deviation (SD) reduction in memory or fluid intelligence score, and the mean follow up from baseline was 5.8 years.

RESULTS:

There was an age dependent association between APOEɛ4 genotype and memory decline (page-interaction = 0.01), with the association only seen in participants who were >65 years (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.24; for <65 years OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.14). The OR for the APOEɛ4 association with fluid intelligence decline was 1.11 (95% CI 0.99 to 1.24), and there was no evidence for age interaction (page-interaction = 0.99). High PA and low sedentary activity were associated with reduced mean memory decline (p < 0.02 for both). There was no interaction between PA or sedentary activity with APOEɛ4 regarding either of the cognitive decline measures (p > 0.63 for all).

CONCLUSION:

This large-scale study using objectively measured PA did not find differential effects of PA on cognitive decline based on APOE genotype.

KEYWORDS:

APOE; Accelerometry; Apolipoprotein E; UK Biobank; cognitive decline; dementia; gene-environment interaction; physical activity; sedentary

PMID:
31450492
DOI:
10.3233/JAD-181132

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