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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1996 Feb;44(2):151-5.

Prevalence of dementia and distribution of ApoE alleles in Japanese centenarians: an almost-complete survey in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.

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Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Yamanashi Medical University, Tamaho, Japan.



To determine the prevalence and types of dementia in centenarians and to examine whether the ApoE epsilon 4 allele has significant impact on the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the population.


Cross-sectional study and a 6-month prospective study.


Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.


Forty-seven centenarians participated in the study to determine the prevalence and types of dementia. Thirty-three of the 47 participated in the study of ApoE genotyping. As controls, 224 demented older adults participated in the genetic study. Their age at onset was < 90 years.


Prevalence of dementia based on DSM-III-R; types of dementia based on NINCDS-ADRDA and ICD-10; distribution on ApoE alleles in the centenarians and in the controls; and the 6-month mortality rate of the subjects.


Of 47 centenarians, 70.2% had dementia, and AD accounted for the majority (75.8%) of the dementia cases. The distribution of ApoE alleles in all the subjects and the AD subjects was epsilon 2: 4.6% vs. 0%; epsilon 3: 90.1% vs. 94.1%; epsilon 4: 4.6% vs. 5.9%. The frequency of the epsilon 4 allele in the AD patients showed a tendency to decrease with increasing age, ranging from 38% for those with an age at onset of < 60 years to 22% for those with an age at onset of ranging from 80 to 89 years. The 6-month mortality rate was 27% (9/33) for the demented centenarians, whereas none of the 14 nondemented centenarians died.


This almost-complete survey, conducted in a prefecture of Japan, revealed a high prevalence of dementia in centenarians. The ApoE epsilon 4 allele does not have an impact on the development of AD in centenarians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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