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THE APOE epsilon 4 GENOTYPE ACCELERATES TERMINAL DECLINE IN COGNITION IN THE OLDEST-OLD

Conference paper
Authors Marcus Praetorius
Valgeir Thorvaldsson
Linda Hassing
Boo Johansson
Published in Gerontologist
Volume 51
Issue Supplement 2
Pages 488
ISSN 0016-9013
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 488
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/gns068
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

Several studies have been published recent years which states that differences in individual cognitive change in old age is associated with impending death. The relationship between individual cognitive change in old age and survival is however still unclear. Several issues need to be clarified. In the present study we investigated if the association between individual cognitive change and survival is mediated by differences in gene characteristics such as APOE genotype. Participants were 498 individuals aged 80+ from the longitudinal Swedish OCTOTwin study, tested at five measurement occasions. Inter-individual differences in intra-individual change were analysed using multilevel modelling (MLM) which provides both overall growth estimates for the entire sample as well as individual and within-pair variation in growth. The results showed that APOE was significantly related to differential patterns of terminal decline in all tests measuring long-term memory (semantic and episodic memory). There were non significant similar trends in almost all other tests. APOE ε4 genotype carriers had a steeper survival related decline than the other genotype carriers. The results indicate that APOE is not just the most important biological marker for developing Alzheimer’s disease. It plays, in a for dementia controlled sample, a significant role for survival related differences in cognitive change.

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