Apolipoproteins E and C1 and brain morphology in memory impaired elders

Neurogenetics. 2003 Apr;4(3):141-6. doi: 10.1007/s10048-002-0142-8. Epub 2002 Dec 21.


Previous research has shown that polymorphisms of the apolipoproteins E ( APOE) and APOC1 represent genetic risk factors for dementia and for cognitive impairment in the elderly. The brain mechanisms by which these genetic variations affect behavior or clinical severity are poorly understood. We studied the effect of APOE and APOC1 genes on magnetic resonance imaging measures in a sample of 50 subjects with age-associated memory impairment. The APOE E4 allele was associated with reduced left hippocampal volumes and APOE*E3 status was associated with greater frontal lobe white matter volumes. However, no APOE effects were observed when analyses accounted for other potential confounding variables. The effects of APOC1 on hippocampal volumes appeared to be more robust than those of the APOE polymorphism. However, no modulatory effects on brain morphology outside the medial temporal lobe region were observed when demographic variables, clinical status, and other anatomical brain measurements were taken into consideration. Our results suggest that the role of the APOC1 polymorphism in brain morphology of the cognitively impaired elderly should be examined in further studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / pathology
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Alleles
  • Apolipoprotein C-I
  • Apolipoprotein E2
  • Apolipoprotein E3
  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Apolipoproteins C / genetics*
  • Apolipoproteins C / physiology
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Apolipoproteins E / physiology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cephalometry
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / pathology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Verbal Learning


  • Apolipoprotein C-I
  • Apolipoprotein E2
  • Apolipoprotein E3
  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Apolipoproteins C
  • Apolipoproteins E