Serum Apo J as a potential marker of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia

J Neurol Sci. 2021 Aug 15;427:117537. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2021.117537. Epub 2021 Jun 15.


Background: Apolipoprotein J (ApoJ) is present in both plasma and tissues, including brain. Growing evidence suggest that this protein may play an early role on the development of the two most common forms of dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VD).

Objective: To evaluate whether serum ApoJ levels might be able to predict the progression to AD, VD, or mixed dementia (AD&VD) in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Methods: Serum ApoJ was measured in 196 MCI subjects (aged ≥60 years) with a median follow up of 2.9 years.

Results: One hundred thirty-two of the enrolled MCI subjects converted to dementia. Among these, 45% developed AD, 33% mixed dementia, 13% VD (VD), and 9% other forms of dementia. A significant trend toward a progressive reduction in the incidence of dementia, regardless of the type, from tertile I (83.1%), to tertile II (63.1%), to tertile III (56.1%) was observed (p = 0.003). After adjustment for potential confounders, a twofold increase in the risk of conversion to dementia was found in subjects belonging to tertile I of Apo J compared with tertile III; the risk increased after two years of follow up, while no differences emerged within the first 2 years.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that in MCI subjects, low APOJ levels may be associated with increased risk of developing dementia.

Keywords: Alzheimer; Apo J; Dementia; Mild cognitive impairment.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Clusterin / blood*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / diagnosis
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged


  • Biomarkers
  • Clusterin