The objective of this study was to analyze the relationship of the apolipoprotein E (apoE) ε4 and ε2 alleles to learning and memory performances in the nondemented oldest old. Forty-six nondemented persons aged 85 years or over from a randomly selected group of 128 subjects in Vantaa, Finland, were studied. ApoE genotyping was performed using the minisequencing technique. A structured clinical examination and interview were carried out. The test variables studied were learning and memory scores (from the Fuld Object-Memory Evaluation), verbal fluency, and conceptualization (the Similarities subtest of the WAIS-R). We compared apoE-ε4 carriers to noncarriers and apoE-ε2 carriers to noncarrirs. No statistically significant differences were found in any of the test variables. The results failed to confirm the hypotheses that poor cognitive performance is associated with the apoE-ε4 allele and good performance with the apoE-ε2 allele in the oldest old. This suggests that the apoE alleles do not have a detectable relationship to learning and memory in nondemented very elderly people.