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Apolipoprotein E controls the risk and age at onset of Parkinson disease

Li, Y.J., Hauser, M.A., Scott, W.K., Martin, E.R., Booze, M.W., Qin, X.J., Walter, J.W., Nance, M.A., Hubble, J.P., Koller, W.C., Pahwa, R., Stern, M.B., Hiner, B.C., Jankovic, J., Goetz, C.G., Small, G.W., Mastaglia, F., Haines, J.L., Pericak-Vance, M.A. and Vance, J.M. (2004) Apolipoprotein E controls the risk and age at onset of Parkinson disease. Neurology, 62 (11). pp. 2005-2009.

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Background: Similarities between Alzheimer disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD) suggest a possible role for apolipoprotein E (APOE) in PD. Most previous studies seeking to establish such a link used case-control datasets and results have been inconsistent.

Objective: To investigate APOE’s role in PD using family-based association analyses.

Methods: APOE functional polymorphisms were genotyped for 658 PD affected families, including 282 multiplex and 376 singleton families. The pedigree disequilibrium test (PDT) and the genotype-PDT were used to test the risk effect of APOE. The Monks-Kaplan test was used to evaluate the effect of APOE on age at onset of PD.

Results: APOE was significantly associated with risk of developing PD. Stratified analysis revealed that APOE was most strongly associated with families with a positive PD family history (global p = 0.003). Like AD, the APOE-4 allele increases disease risk while the APOE-3 allele decreases risk. We detected a positive association of APOE-3 (p = 0.019) and a negative association of APOE-4 (p = 0.015) with age at onset in PD.

Conclusions: The APOE-4 allele increases risk and decreases age at onset of PD, an association that may not be dependent upon cognitive impairment.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: American Academy of Neurology
Copyright: © 2004 American Academy of Neurology
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