Article

Apolipoprotein E: Risk factor for Alzheimer disease

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.
The American Journal of Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 10.99). 05/1994; 54(4):643-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) has three common alleles (epsilon 2, epsilon 3, and epsilon 4) that determine six genotypes in the general population. In this study, we examined 77 patients with late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD), along with an equal number of age- and sex-matched controls, for an association with the APOE-epsilon 4 allele. We show that the frequency of this allele among AD patients was significantly higher than that among the control population (.351 vs. .130, P = .000006). The genotype frequencies also differed between the two groups (P = .0002), with the APOE-epsilon 4/epsilon 3 genotype being the most common in the AD group and the APOE-epsilon 3/epsilon 3 being the most common in the control group. In the AD group, homozygosity for epsilon 4 was found in nine individuals, whereas none was found in the control group. The odds ratio for AD, when associated with one or two epsilon 4 alleles, was 4.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9-12.3), while the odds ratio for AD, when associated with heterozygosity for APOE-epsilon 4, was 3.6 (95% CI 1.5-9.8). Finally, the median age at onset among the AD patients decreased from 83 to 78 to 74 years as the number of APOE-epsilon 4 alleles increased from 0 to 1 to 2, respectively (test for trend, P = .001). Our data, which are in agreement with recent reports, suggest that the APOE-epsilon 4 allele is associated with AD and that this allelic variant may be an important risk factor for susceptibility to AD in the general population.

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