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Neurology. 1996 Aug;47(2):440-3.

Apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele, cognitive decline, and deterioration of everyday performance in Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Psychiatry, Technische Universität, Munich, Germany.


Many studies have demonstrated an association between the apolipoprotein E (apoE) epsilon 4 allele and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present study is concerned with the relationship between the apoE epsilon 4 allele and the progression of symptoms in AD. We determined rates of cognitive decline and deterioration in everyday performance prospectively over 3 years in 64 patients with clinically diagnosed AD using the Cambridge Cognitive Examination (CAMCOG), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the Dementia Scale (DS) included in the Cambridge Mental Disorders of the Elderly Examination (CAMDEX). Carriers and noncarriers of the epsilon 4 allele did not significantly differ in cognitive functioning and everyday performance at baseline measurements. The time that had elapsed since the estimated onset of symptoms was also not different between the two groups. This suggested that the clinical progression of AD was not associated with the epsilon 4 status before the patients entered the study. On prospective observation, the rate of cognitive decline assessed with the CAMCOG and the MMSE and the rate of deterioration in everyday performance rated with the DS were also not different between carriers and noncarriers of the epsilon 4 allele. We conclude that the clinical course of AD is independent of the apoE epsilon 4 allele.

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