The relationship between apolipoprotein E (apoE) genotype and
cognitive performance was examined in 200 patients with probable
Alzheimer's disease (AD). Differences between composite
measures of verbal and nonverbal functioning were used to define
asymmetric patterns of cognition. Patients who were homozygous
for apoE ε4 demonstrated relatively worse nonverbal as compared
to verbal cognitive ability. In contrast, participants who were
heterozygous for apoE ε4 or who possessed no ε4 allele
demonstrated relatively equivalent verbal and nonverbal cognitive
abilities. Although age and dementia severity also contributed
to these patterns, apoE genotype appears to have a significant
unique contribution to cognitive performance in these individuals.
The ε4 allele may thus be associated with a specific
neurocognitive phenotype among patients with AD, with the overall
pattern of cognitive asymmetry dependent upon ε4 dose.
(JINS, 2003, 9, 751–759.)