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Memory in individuals with mild cognitive impairment in relation to APOE and CSF Aβ42

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2010

Valgeir Thorvaldsson*
Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Arto Nordlund
Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Ivar Reinvang
Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Kaj Blennow
Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Henrik Zetterberg
Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Anders Wallin
Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Boo Johansson
Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Correspondence should be addressed to: Valgeir Thorvaldsson, Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Box 500, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden. Phone: +46 (0)31 7861646; Fax: +46 (0)31 7864628. Email:


Background: The ε4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene and low levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid β-proteins 42 (Aβ) have previously been associated with increased risk of cognitive decline in old age. In this study we examine the interaction of these markers with episodic memory in a sample identified as having mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Methods: The sample (N = 149) was drawn from the Gothenburg MCI study and measured according to three free recall tests on three occasions spanning over four years. Second-order Latent Curve Models (LCM) were fitted to the data.

Results: Analyses accounting for age, gender, education, APOE, Aβ42, and interaction between APOE and Aβ42 revealed that the ε4 allele was significantly associated with level of memory performance in the presence of low Aβ42 values (≤452 ng/L). Associations between memory performance and Aβ42 were significant among the ε4 carriers but not among the non-carriers. The Aβ42 marker was, however, significantly associated with changes in memory over the study time period in the total sample.

Conclusion: The findings support the hypothesis of an interactive effect of APOE and Aβ42 for memory decline in MCI patients.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2010

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