A Verkkoniemi

University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland

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Publications (22)157.04 Total impact

  • Journal of the Neurological Sciences 08/2009; 283(1):294-294. DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2009.02.207 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Variant Alzheimer's disease (VarAD) with spastic paraparesis and presenile dementia is associated with certain mutations of the presenilin 1 (PS-1) gene, particularly those leading to deletion of exon 9 (PS-1Delta E9). VarAD is neuropathologically characterized by the presence of unusually large, Abeta42 positive, non-cored 'cotton wool' plaques (CWPs), also devoid of dystrophic neurites. The aim of the present study was to find out whether [(11)C]PIB would show increased uptake and serve as an in vivo biomarker of amyloid accumulation in VarAD. A further aim was to assess the correspondence of the [(11)C]PIB binding to the amount and type of Abeta deposits in another group of deceased VarAD patients' brains. We studied four patients with VarAD and eight healthy controls with PET using [(11)C]PIB as tracer. Parametric images were computed by calculating the region-to-cerebellum and region-to-pons ratio in each voxel over 60-90 min. Group differences in [(11)C]PIB uptake were analysed with automated region-of-interest (ROI) analysis. [(11)C]PIB uptake was compared to the immunohistochemically demonstrated deposition of Abeta in the brains of another group of four deceased VarAD patients. Patients with VarAD had significantly higher [(11)C] PIB uptake than the control group in the striatum (caudate nucleus and putamen), anterior and posterior cingulate gyrus, occipital cortex and thalamus. In the caudate and putamen [(11)C]PIB uptake, expressed as region-to-cerebellum ratio, was on the average 43% greater than the mean of the control group. The increases in the anterior (28%) and posterior (27%) cingulate gyrus, occipital cortex (21%) and thalamus (14%) were smaller. All VarAD patients showed this similar topographical pattern of increased [(11)C]PIB uptake. The results were essentially similar when the uptake was expressed as region-to-pons ratios. [(11)C]PIB imaging shows increased uptake in patients with VarAD especially in the striatum, and it can be used to detect amyloid accumulation in vivo in these patients. The pattern of increased [(11)C]PIB uptake is different from that described in sporadic Alzheimer's disease and resembles that seen in Alzheimer's disease patients with certain presenilin-1 mutations or amyloid precursor protein gene duplication showing predominantly striatal increase in [(11)C]PIB uptake.
    Brain 07/2008; 131(Pt 7):1845-53. DOI:10.1093/brain/awn107 · 10.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that in Alzheimer's disease (AD) amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) triggers a chronic inflammatory reaction in cerebral amyloid plaques, including complement proteins. Abeta also accumulates cerebrovascularly in age- and AD-associated cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). We investigated complement proteins in CAA in a population-based series using histological and immunohistochemical staining methods. The 74 subjects, aged 95 years or more, had undergone clinical neurological examination and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotyping. The brains had been studied for AD post-mortem, allowing us to relate the histopathological findings to clinical and genetic conditions. CAA with congophilic amyloid was found in 36/74 individuals (48.6%). The vascular amyloid deposits immunoreacted with antibodies to Abeta and complements 3d (C3d) and 9 (C9). The positivity in complement stains increased with growing severity of CAA (P = 0.001). The presence of CAA associated with ApoE epsilon4 (P = 0.0005) and overrepresentation of epsilon4 among those with moderate or severe vs. mild CAA (P = 0.03) was demonstrated. The presence of CAA associated with dementia (P = 0.01), which was contributed by both epsilon4+ (P = 0.02) and epsilon4- (P = 0.06) subjects. Our study shows that complement proteins are deposited in the affected vessels in Abeta-associated CAA. They may solely represent the cerebral Abeta- burden associated to inflammatory stimuli, or signal a contribution in the clearance of cerebral Abeta, thereby contributing to the events associated with evolution of clinical dementia. Our results demonstrate a strong association between CAA and ApoE epsilon4 as well as dementia and suggest that the contribution of CAA to dementia is largely independent of ApoE epsilon4.
    Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 01/2006; 31(6):589-99. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2990.2005.00652.x · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to analyze the relationship of the apolipoprotein E (apoE) epsilon4 and epsilon2 alleles to learning and memory performances in the nondemented oldest old. Forty-six nondemented persons aged 85 years or over from a randomly selected group of 128 subjects in Vantaa, Finland, were studied. ApoE genotyping was performed using the minisequencing technique. A structured clinical examination and interview were carried out. The test variables studied were learning and memory scores (from the Fuld Object-Memory Evaluation), verbal fluency, and conceptualization (the Similarities subtest of the WAIS-R). We compared apoE-epsilon4 carriers to noncarriers and apoE-epsilon2 carriers to noncarriers. No statistically significant differences were found in any of the test variables. The results failed to confirm the hypotheses that poor cognitive performance is associated with the apoE-epsilon4 allele and good performance with the apoE-epsilon2 allele in the oldest old. This suggests that the apoE alleles do not have a detectable relationship to learning and memory in nondemented very elderly people.
    International Psychogeriatrics 01/2002; 13(4):451-9. · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Variants of the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) gene have been shown to influence serum lipid levels, risk of coronary heart disease and, as found recently, risk of clinical ischaemic cerebrovascular disease. Here we tested for an association between brain infarction and two common polymorphisms of the LPL gene, Ser447Ter and Asn291 Ser. To avoid ascertainment and selection bias involved in many association studies, we compared the distribution of these polymorphisms in neuropathologically verified patients (n = 119) vs controls (n = 133) derived from a prospective, population-based study (the Vantaa 85+ study). The LPL Ter447 variant was negatively associated with neuropathologically verified brain infarcts (P = 0.006), and even more strongly with small brain infarcts (P = 0.004). In addition, we found that the Ter447 variant was associated with higher serum HDL chblesterol (P = 0.004) and lower triglyceride levels (P= 0.003), and that it was negatively associated with pathologically verified severe coronary artery disease (P=0.001) in the Vantaa 85+ study sample. The Asn291Ser polymorphism was not significantly associated with brain infarction. The Ter447 variant of LPL is associated with decreased risk of brain infarction and coronary artery disease in our very elderly population.
    Annals of Medicine 11/2001; 33(7):486-92. DOI:10.3109/07853890109002098 · 4.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: No previous autopsy-controlled, prospective, and population-based studies are available on the prevalence of AD in very elderly people. To study the point prevalence of neuropathologically defined AD in a population of people at least 85 years of age, stratified according to their APOE genotype. A population-based sample of 532 (of a total population of 601) elderly Finnish individuals, aged 85 years or more, were clinically tested for dementia in 1991 (with follow-up studies of the survivors in 1994, 1996, and 1999) and genotyped for APOE. An autopsy involving neuropathologic diagnosis of AD according to modified consensus criteria was performed in 118 of 198 deceased subjects who had been demented on April 1, 1991, and in 62 of 201 nondemented individuals. The prevalence of neuropathologically defined AD was 33%, whereas the prevalence of clinically diagnosed AD was 16%. There was a highly significant (p < 0.001) association between the APOE epsilon4 allele and AD: Sixty-three percent of APOE epsilon4 carriers and 20% of noncarriers had neuropathologic AD. The respective figures in subjects aged 90 years or more were 71 and 22%. The prevalence of neuropathologically defined AD is higher than that reported in most previous studies based on clinical diagnosis. The discrepancy between the neuropathologic and clinical diagnoses of AD in very elderly subjects may affect the results of population-based studies. The APOE genotype has a strong effect on the prevalence of neuropathologically defined AD, even after 90 years of age.
    Neurology 06/2001; 56(12):1690-6. DOI:10.1212/WNL.56.12.1690 · 8.30 Impact Factor
  • A Verkkoniemi · H Kalimo · A Paetau · M Somer · T Iwatsubo · J Hardy · M Haltia
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    ABSTRACT: Variant Alzheimer disease (varAD) is clinically characterized by the combination of presenile dementia with spastic paraparesis and is caused by certain mutations of the presenilin 1 (PS-1) gene. We now present the unusual neuropathological phenotype of varAD as seen in 5 affected members of the original Finnish family with a genomic deletion encompassing exon 9 of the PS-1 gene. Their primary and association cortices and hippocampus showed a profusion of eosinophilic, roundish structures with distinct borders termed "cotton wool" plaques (CWPs). The CWPs were immunoreactive for Abeta42/43 but weakly or not at all for Abeta40 isoforms of the amyloid beta peptide (Abeta). They were devoid of a congophilic core, and fibrillar amyloid could not be identified within them by electron microscopy. Confocal microscopy showed reduced density of axons within individual CWPs and only few CWP-related PHF-tau-positive dystrophic neurites. CWPs were particularly numerous in the medial motor cortex representing the lower extremities, and degeneration of the lateral corticospinal tracts was observed at the level of the medulla oblongata and the spinal cord. In addition to the predominant CWPs, variable numbers of diffuse and cored plaques were found in the cerebral cortex. Diffuse and non-neuritic cored amyloid plaques but no CWPs occurred in the cerebellum. In conclusion, varAD in this Finnish family is distinct from classic AD because of the degeneration of lateral corticospinal tracts, predominance of CWPs devoid of fibrillar amyloid cores in the cerebral cortex, and presence of non-neuritic amyloid plaques in the cerebellum.
    Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 06/2001; 60(5):483-92. · 4.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The oldest old are prone to develop delirium. Studies into risk factors for delirium have been carried out predominantly in younger age groups. The aim of this population-based follow-up study was to investigate the risk factors for delirium requiring medical attention and subsequent prognosis in the non-demented general population aged > or = 85 years. The study included the non-demented subjects in the population-based Vantaa 85+ study. After the 3-year observation period, 199 subjects (91% of those surviving) were re-examined and their medical records were evaluated for episodes of delirium. The subjects were followed up with respect to mortality for another 2 years. During the 3-year observational period, 20 subjects (10%) had been diagnosed as having had an episode of delirium. A Mini-Mental State Examination score of < 24 (odds ratio (OR) 3.44, confidence interval (CI = 95%) 1.27-9.32) and high systolic blood pressure (OR 3.08, CI 1.08-8.79) were identified as independent risk factors for delirium. The association between the delirium episode and a new diagnosis of dementia was significant ( p = 0.001). The mortality rate was greater among those subjects who experienced delirium than among subjects without this syndrome ( p = 0.008). Mild cognitive impairment and high systolic blood pressure were found to be risk factors for delirium requiring medical attention in the general non-demented population aged > or = 85 years. The study also highlights the significant association between delirium and a new dementia diagnosis in this age group.
    International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 05/2001; 16(4):415-21. · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe 3 new families affected by Alzheimer's disease with spastic paraparesis. In affected individuals, including the earliest known patient with this clinical syndrome, neuropathological examination revealed large "cotton wool" plaques similar to those we have previously described in a Finnish family. In the families in which DNA was available, presenilin-1 mutations were observed. Transfection of cells with these mutant genes caused exceptionally large increases in secreted Abeta42 levels. Furthermore, brain tissue from individuals with this syndrome had very high amyloid-beta concentrations. These findings define the molecular pathogenesis of an important subgroup of Alzheimer's disease and have implications for the pathogenesis of the disease in general.
    Annals of Neurology 11/2000; 48(5):806-8. DOI:10.1002/1531-8249(200011)48:5<806::AID-ANA18>3.0.CO;2-F · 11.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence suggests a relation between vascular disorders and late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). We performed an association analysis of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP), lipoprotein lipase (LPL), and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) genes, known to be involved in vascular disorders, and AD. Genotyping was carried out in 113 patients with clinically defined Alzheimer's disease (NINCDS-ADRDA criteria) and 203 non-demented controls in a prospective, population-based study of people aged 85 years or over (Vantaa 85+ Study). Corresponding analysis was performed on 121 neuropathologically verified AD patients (CERAD criteria) and 75 controls derived from the same study population. We did not find significant associations between the polymorphisms studied and AD. However, analysis of the LPL polymorphism showed a weak trend (uncorrected P-value 0.095) towards protection against neuropathologically defined AD. Our study is based on very elderly Finns. Therefore, further studies are warranted in other populations.
    Neuroscience Letters 11/2000; 292(3):195-8. DOI:10.1016/S0304-3940(00)01467-1 · 2.06 Impact Factor
  • K Juva · A Verkkoniemi · P Viramo · T Polvikoski · K Kainulainen · K Kontula · R Sulkava
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    ABSTRACT: We examined 510 subjects representing 83.2% of all citizens of a Finnish city aged 85 years or over. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores, diagnosis of dementia by DSM-III-R criteria, and Apo-E genotype were determined. The prevalence of dementia was 38.6%. The odds ratio (OR) of the Apo-E epsilon4 carriers (with the reference population of people with the genotype epsilon3/epsilon3) for dementia was 2.36 (95% CI 1.58 - 3.53). There was a significant sex difference: The OR in women was 3.23 (95% CI 2.02 - 5.17) whereas among men it was insignificant. The mean MMSE score (+/- SD) among the Apo-E epsilon4 carriers (15.0 +/- 10.0) and noncarriers (18.7 8.6) (p < .001) differed among the whole population, but not within the demented or nondemented subjects analyzed separately. This study does not support the hypothesis that the Apo-E epsilon4 allele impairs cognitive functions of nondemented elderly, at least in those surviving to very old age.
    International Psychogeriatrics 09/2000; 12(3):379-87. · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the presenilin-1 (PS-1) gene have been shown to cause early onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) in an autosomal dominant manner. We have identified a novel 4.6-kb genomic deletion in the PS-1 gene in a Finnish EOAD family, which leads to an inframe exclusion of exon9 (delta9) from the mRNA transcript. This germline mutation results in a similar alteration in mRNA level as previously described with the variant AD and the delta9 splice-site mutations. In this present EOAD family, the clinical and neuropathological phenotype of patients are those of the typical AD without indications of spastic paraparesis or 'cotton wool' plaques, which are the hallmarks of the variant AD. A sequence analysis of the deletion crossover site of the mutant and corresponding wild type regions revealed complete homology with the recombigenic 26 bp Alu core sequence at intron 8. In addition, a segment at the intron 9 breakpoint displayed homology with the core sequence, but comparison of the 5' and 3' breakpoint sequences did not reveal significant identity favouring involvement of Alu core sequence-stimulated non-homologous recombination rather than Alu-mediated homologous pairing of the fragments. This study shows that large genomic rearrangements can affect the EOAD gene PS-1 through a mechanism, which may involve Alu core sequence-stimulated recombination.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 05/2000; 8(4):259-66. DOI:10.1038/sj.ejhg.5200423 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To present the clinical, neuroimaging, and electrophysiologic characteristics of a variant AD phenotype. The authors have identified a large Finnish kindred with presenile dementia and spastic paraparesis due to deletion of exon 9 of presenilin 1. Neuropathologic analysis showed unusual cortical "cotton wool" plaques, immunoreactive for the beta-amyloid peptide but lacking congophilic cores. Twenty-two affected individuals (16 men and 6 women) were identified in four successive generations. All surviving five patients were examined and subjected to molecular genetic analysis. In addition, the neurologic records of nine deceased patients were evaluated. Electrophysiologic investigations were available in eight cases. CT or MRI of the head had been performed on 11 patients and PET was performed on three patients. The mean age at onset (+/-SD) was 50.9 +/- 5.2 years (range 40 to 61 years). Memory impairment was present in all patients. Memory impairment appeared simultaneously with or was preceded by walking difficulty due to spasticity of the lower extremities (10/14). Impaired fine coordination of hands (9/14) and dysarthria (6/14) in some patients suggested cerebellar involvement. EEG showed intermittent generalized delta-theta activity. Head MRI showed temporal and hippocampal atrophy; PET showed bilateral temporo-parietal hypometabolism. Spastic paraparesis or brisk stretch reflexes of lower extremities or clumsiness of hands combined with dementia suggests this variant of AD.
    Neurology 04/2000; 54(5):1103-9. DOI:10.1016/S0197-4580(00)83389-8 · 8.30 Impact Factor
  • K Juva · A Verkkoniemi · P Viramo · T Polvikoski · K Kainulainen · K Kontula · R Sulkava
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the effect of the epsilon 4 allele on cognitive decline in the oldest old. We studied all 601 citizens of the city of Vantaa age 85 years and older in 1991. A total of 553 subjects (92%) took part in the study, which used the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and assessment of dementia according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third ed., revised (DSM-III-R) criteria. The survivors were re-examined 3 years later. APOE genotype was determined in 510 subjects, representing 83.2% of the original population. Approximately one-half of the subjects (n = 250) died before the follow-up, and 253 subjects (97.3% of the survivors) were re-examined. The occurrence of the APOE epsilon 4 allele did not have any significant effect on survival. Of the 187 previously nondemented subjects, 58 (31%) had developed dementia. The OR for the epsilon 4 carriers to develop dementia was not significant: OR = 1.78; 95% CI = 0.88 to 3.60. In individuals with a follow-up MMSE score (n = 222), the mean decline in the score was 3.1 points. APOE epsilon 4 carrier status did not have a significant effect on the mean MMSE change except in the previously demented subjects, among whom the drop was larger in the APOE epsilon 4 carriers. The lack of association between APOE epsilon 4 carrier status and mortality, or development of dementia, or cognitive decline in these very elderly people, whether analyzed in the whole population or among the nondemented subjects only, suggests that the APOE epsilon 4 effect in younger subjects is age-dependent, and that it is no longer present in very old age.
    Neurology 02/2000; 54(2):412-5. DOI:10.1212/WNL.54.2.412 · 8.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, two studies have reported an association between the alpha2-macroglobulin gene on chromosome 12 and late-onset Alzheimer's disease, whereas others have not been able to replicate these findings. By using a prospective population-based study, we have investigated the relation between two polymorphisms in this gene with the presence of the disease and also with the extent of pathological changes in the cerebral cortex. The Vantaa 85+ Study includes all 601 persons, at least 85 years of age, who were living in Vantaa, Finland, on April 1, 1991. The neocortical beta-amyloid protein load and the number of neurofibrillary tangles were determined on tissue sections by using methenamine silver staining and a modified Bielschowsky staining, respectively. The A/A genotype in exon 24 of the alpha2-macroglobulin gene was associated with neuropathologically defined diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease according to the CERAD (Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease) criteria and with an increase in the neocortical beta-amyloid protein load. The effect of this association was stronger in the apolipoprotein E epsilon4-negative group. Therefore, genetic variability in the alpha2-macroglobulin gene is a risk factor associated with neuropathologically defined Alzheimer's disease in our population, as well as with the extent of neocortical beta-amyloid protein deposition.
    Annals of Neurology 10/1999; 46(3):382-90. DOI:10.1002/1531-8249(199909)46:3<382::AID-ANA14>3.0.CO;2-5 · 11.91 Impact Factor
  • A Päivärinta · A Verkkoniemi · L Niinistö · S L Kivelä · R Sulkava
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the prevalence and associates of major depression and minor depression among the Finnish non-demented population aged 85 years and older (n = 339). DSM-III-R criteria were used in diagnosing major depression and dementia. Minor depression was diagnosed by the physician in those who did not fulfil the DSM-III-R criteria for major depression, but had still at least two depressive symptoms. In the first phase, cross-tabulation was used to determine relative risks (RR) and their 95% confidential intervals (95% CI). An additive logistic regression model was then used to find the independent associates of depressive disorders. The prevalence of major depression was 8.1% in men and 4.9% in women, and that of minor depression 18.9% in men and 18.5% in women. In men major depression was associated independently with poor physical health and in women with rare contact with family or friends and poor physical health. Minor depression was associated independently with poor physical health and previous myocardial infarction in men and with poor physical health, a poor ability to walk, and smoking in women. The prevalence of depressive disorders is quite high among the oldest-old Finns. The factors associated with major and minor depression are largely similar. Although the results suggest that psychosocial stress factors affect the development of both major and minor depression in the oldest-old, no conclusions about causality can be made.
    Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 08/1999; 34(7):352-9. DOI:10.1007/s001270050155 · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • A Verkkoniemi · M Somer · M Haltia
    Duodecim; lääketieteellinen aikakauskirja 02/1998; 114(24):2509-11.
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to obtain information about the prevalence of depressive symptoms in a representative sample of elderly subjects aged 85 years and over. The study was carried out as a population-based interview study in the City of Vantaa in Finland. The Zung Depression Status Inventory (DSI) was used to evaluate various depressive symptoms in this study population. The DSI scores range from 20 to 80; the higher the score, the more severe the disturbance. In subjects interviewed (n = 467, 362 women, 105 men), the prevalence estimates of depression with cutoff scores used in earlier studies (40 and 48) were very low: 5.2% and 1.1%. Also, the mean DSI score (SD) was very low, 27.9 (6.4). The scores tended to decrease with age, although the differences were not statistically significant. The DSI means were 28.0 (6.1) for women and 27.3 (7.2) for men (p = .0349). Women had a greater risk of being classified as depressed on the DSI (odds ratio: 1.60, 95% confidence interval: 1.00-2.57, p = .049). Feelings of emptiness, personal devaluation, and depressive mood were the most common depressive symptoms. In conclusion, the present population-based study shows that subjective experience of depression is very rare in Finnish people aged 85+. Our results suggest that optimistic mood might give some protection against death.
    International Psychogeriatrics 09/1997; 9(3):359-68. DOI:10.1017/S1041610297004493 · 1.89 Impact Factor
  • Neurobiology of Aging 12/1996; 17(4). DOI:10.1016/S0197-4580(96)80318-6 · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apolipoprotein E genotyping was carried out in a stratified random sample of 52 patients with Alzheimer's disease, 48 patients with vascular or mixed dementia, and 49 nondemented controls in a population-based study of people aged 85 and older (the Vantaa 85+ Study). Our results indicate that the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele is associated with approximately a twofold increase in clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease in this very old general population aged 85+. When combined with previous studies, our data also suggest that the association is decreasing with age. In contrast, there appears to be no relation between apolipoprotein E alleles and clinically diagnosed vascular dementia.
    Neurobiology of Aging 05/1996; 17(3):373-6. DOI:10.1016/0197-4580(96)00023-1 · 4.85 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

964 Citations
157.04 Total Impact Points


  • 1995–2009
    • University of Helsinki
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Department of Clinical Neurosciences
      • • Department of Pathology
      Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
  • 2001
    • University of Kuopio
      • Department of Public Health and General Practice
      Kuopio, Eastern Finland Province, Finland
  • 1999–2001
    • Helsinki University Central Hospital
      • Department of Pathology
      Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland