Hippocampal atrophy and apolipoprotein E genotype are independently associated with Alzheimer's disease

Ann Neurol. 1998 Mar;43(3):303-10. doi: 10.1002/ana.410430307.


A variety of anatomic and functional neuroimaging findings are associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). One of the strongest imaging associations identified is between AD and hippocampal atrophy. The epsilon4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene increases the risk of developing AD and lowers the mean age of onset of the disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between hippocampal volume and ApoE polymorphisms in elderly control subjects and in patients with probable AD. We performed magnetic resonance imaging-based volume measurements of the hippocampus in 125 cognitively normal elderly controls and 62 patients with probable AD. ApoE genotyping was performed by using standard methods. Hippocampal volumes were significantly smaller in AD cases than in control subjects. Hippocampal volumes did not differ significantly within either clinical group on the basis of ApoE genotype. Both the epsilon4 allele of ApoE and hippocampal atrophy were significantly but independently associated with AD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Atrophy
  • Genotype
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis


  • Apolipoproteins E