Effect of Alzheimer disease risk on brain function during self-appraisal in healthy middle-aged adults.
ABSTRACT Asymptomatic middle-aged adult children of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) recently were found to exhibit functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) deficits in the mesial temporal lobe during an encoding task. Whether this effect will be observed on other fMRI tasks is yet unknown. This study examines the neural substrates of self-appraisal (SA) in persons at risk for AD. Accurate appraisal of deficits is a problem for many patients with AD, and prior fMRI studies of healthy young adults indicate that brain areas vulnerable to AD such as the anterior mesial temporal lobe and posterior cingulate are involved during SA tasks.
To determine whether parental family history of AD (hereafter referred to as FH) or presence of the epsilon4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE4) exerts independent effects on brain function during SA.
Cross-sectional factorial design in which APOE4 status (present vs absent) was one factor and FH was the other. All participants received cognitive testing, genotyping, and an fMRI task that required subjective SA decisions regarding trait adjective words in comparison with semantic decisions about the same words.
An academic medical center with a research-dedicated 3.0-T MR imaging facility.
Cognitively normal middle-aged adults (n = 110), 51 with an FH and 59 without an FH.
Blood oxygen-dependent contrast measured using T2*-weighted echo-planar imaging.
Parental family history of AD and APOE4 status interacted in the posterior cingulate and left superior and medial frontal regions. There were main effects of FH (FH negative > FH positive) in the left hippocampus and ventral posterior cingulate. There were no main effects of APOE genotype.
Our results suggest that FH may affect brain function during subjective SA in regions commonly affected by AD. Although the participants in this study were asymptomatic and middle-aged, the findings suggest that there may be subtle alterations in brain function attributable to AD risk factors.
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ABSTRACT: Our current knowledge of risk factors for Alzheimer's disease is limited and primarily addresses early-onset disease. This study aimed to determine the risk factors for late-onset Alzheimer's disease using a case-control approach. Ninety-eight cases and 216 controls were gathered from an ongoing population survey on aging and dementia in Stockholm (the Kungsholmen Project). We found a high relative risk (3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-5.7) with the presence of at least one first-degree relative affected by dementia. Among all the other risk factors, alcohol abuse (relative risk, 4.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-13.8) and manual work (relative risk for men of 5.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-25.5) emerged as positively associated. No clear association was found with a family history of Parkinson disease, advanced parental age at index delivery, season of birth, or previous head trauma. In conclusion, our data suggest that the main risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease is a family history of dementia, as has been previously reported for early-onset disease. Moreover, alcohol abuse and occupational exposure might play a specific role for this form of the disease.Annals of Neurology 04/1993; 33(3):258-66. · 11.09 Impact Factor
Article: Reduced functional brain activity response in cognitively intact apolipoprotein E epsilon4 carriers.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The apolipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOE epsilon4) is the main known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Genetic assessments in combination with other diagnostic tools, such as neuroimaging, have the potential to facilitate early diagnosis. In this large-scale functional MRI (fMRI) study, we have contrasted 30 APOE epsilon4 carriers (age range: 49-74 years; 19 females), of which 10 were homozygous for the epsilon4 allele, and 30 non-carriers with regard to brain activity during a semantic categorization task. Test groups were closely matched for sex, age and education. Critically, both groups were cognitively intact and thus symptom-free of Alzheimer's disease. APOE epsilon4 carriers showed reduced task-related responses in the left inferior parietal cortex, and bilaterally in the anterior cingulate region. A dose-related response was observed in the parietal area such that diminution was most pronounced in homozygous compared with heterozygous carriers. In addition, contrasts of processing novel versus familiar items revealed an abnormal response in the right hippocampus in the APOE epsilon4 group, mainly expressed as diminished sensitivity to the relative novelty of stimuli. Collectively, these findings indicate that genetic risk translates into reduced functional brain activity, in regions pertinent to Alzheimer's disease, well before alterations can be detected at the behavioural level.Brain 06/2006; 129(Pt 5):1240-8. · 9.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is at present limited understanding of the neurobiological basis of the different processes underlying emotion perception. We have aimed to identify potential neural correlates of three processes suggested by appraisalist theories as important for emotion perception: 1) the identification of the emotional significance of a stimulus; 2) the production of an affective state in response to 1; and 3) the regulation of the affective state. In a critical review, we have examined findings from recent animal, human lesion, and functional neuroimaging studies. Findings from these studies indicate that these processes may be dependent upon the functioning of two neural systems: a ventral system, including the amygdala, insula, ventral striatum, and ventral regions of the anterior cingulate gyrus and prefrontal cortex, predominantly important for processes 1 and 2 and automatic regulation of emotional responses; and a dorsal system, including the hippocampus and dorsal regions of anterior cingulate gyrus and prefrontal cortex, predominantly important for process 3. We suggest that the extent to which a stimulus is identified as emotive and is associated with the production of an affective state may be dependent upon levels of activity within these two neural systems.Biological Psychiatry 10/2003; 54(5):504-14. · 8.28 Impact Factor