Exploring APOE genotype effects on Alzheimer's disease risk and amyloid β burden in individuals with subjective cognitive decline: The FundacioACE Healthy Brain Initiative (FACEHBI) study baseline results

Alzheimers Dement. 2018 May;14(5):634-643. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.10.005. Epub 2017 Nov 20.


Introduction: Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) has been proposed as a potential preclinical stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nevertheless, the genetic and biomarker profiles of SCD individuals remain mostly unexplored.

Methods: We evaluated apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4's effect in the risk of presenting SCD, using the Fundacio ACE Healthy Brain Initiative (FACEHBI) SCD cohort and Spanish controls, and performed a meta-analysis addressing the same question. We assessed the relationship between APOE dosage and brain amyloid burden in the FACEHBI SCD and Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative cohorts.

Results: Analysis of the FACEHBI cohort and the meta-analysis demonstrated SCD individuals presented higher allelic frequencies of APOE ε4 with respect to controls. APOE dosage explained 9% (FACEHBI cohort) and 11% (FACEHBI and Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative cohorts) of the variance of cerebral amyloid levels.

Discussion: The FACEHBI sample presents APOE ε4 enrichment, suggesting that a pool of AD patients is nested in our sample. Cerebral amyloid levels are partially explained by the APOE allele dosage, suggesting that other genetic or epigenetic factors are involved in this AD endophenotype.

Keywords: APOE alleles; Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid burden; PET; Subjective cognitive decline.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Amyloid / blood*
  • Apolipoprotein E4 / genetics*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / genetics*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroimaging / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain


  • Amyloid
  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Biomarkers