Gene-environment interaction in Alzheimer's disease: a potential role for cholesterol

Neuroepidemiology. 1998;17(5):225-32. doi: 10.1159/000026175.


Alzheimer's disease is probably a complex disease caused by an interaction of multiple environmental and genetic factors. Genetic defects include 'causative' genes which are rare and a 'susceptibility' gene (sigma4 allele of apolipoprotein E) which is more common in cases. Recent research suggests that environmental factors may interact with a genetic predisposition to modify the risk of Alzheimer's disease. An interaction between serum cholesterol levels and sigma4 genotype is proposed. The evidence for this gene-environment interaction is discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Point Mutation / genetics


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Cholesterol, HDL