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APOE is a strong gender-dependant risk factor for post-stroke major depression

Conference paper
Authors Thomas Lindén
Kate Noonan
Leeanne Carey
Ingmar Skoog
Christian Blomstrand
Kaj Blennow
Published in European Stoke Conference, Stockholm, Maj
Publication year 2009
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Language en
Keywords stroke, depression, APOE, genetic, gender, risk factors
Subject categories Molecular biology, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Neurology, Psychiatry, Gender Studies


BACKGROUND: Stroke is a major disease that annually affects 15 million people worldwide. Impaired mood is a common and serious complication. Previous studies indicate that Apolipoprotein E (APOE) alleles differently incur risks for late-life onset depression. The aim of this study was to analyse APOE as a risk factor in men and women for depressive disorders late after stroke. METHODS: Two-hundred and forty-three stroke patients over 70 years of age entered a longitudinal, naturalistic hospital-based study. One hundred and forty nine were assessed for cognitive impairments and depression and 88 were genetically tested one and a half years later. RESULTS: Thirty-three percent had any depression, 15% major depressive disorder. Genotypes 3/2 and 4/2 associated to depression. Major depressive disorder, but not all depression, related strongly to APOE  carriership (OR 6.0; 95%CI 1.6 to 22), and was stronger for women (OR 17: 95% CI 1.6 to 174) than for men. CONCLUSION: In this first study to analyse the association between APOE genotypes and post-stroke depression, we found that APOE  increased the risk for depression, especially in women. The results call for further studies to confirm and clarify the mechanisms for these effects as well as for the difference between sexes.

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