ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of iron homeostasis is implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this pilot study, common variants of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) and HFE genes resulting in the iron overload disorder of hereditary hemochromatosis (C282Y, H63D and S65C) were evaluated as factors in sporadic AD in an Ontario sample in which folic acid fortification has been mandatory since 1998. Laboratory studies also were done to search for genetic effects on blood markers of iron status, red cell folates and serum B12. Participants included 58 healthy volunteers (25 males, 33 females) and 54 patients with probable AD (20 males, 34 females). Statistical analyses were interpreted at the 95% confidence level. Contingency table and odds ratio analyses supported the hypothesis that in females of the given age range, E4 significantly predisposed to AD in the presence but not absence of H63D. In males, E4 significantly predisposed to AD in the absence of H63D, and H63D in the absence of E4 appeared protective against AD. Among E4+ AD patients, H63D was associated with significant lowering of red cell folate concentration, possibly as the result of excessive oxidative stress. However, folate levels in the lowest population quartile did not affect the risk of AD. A model is presented to explain the experimental findings.
Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 05/2008; 14(1):69-84. · 3.74 Impact Factor