Differential effects of the ApoE4 genotype on brain structure and function
SourceNeuroImage, 89, (2014), pp. 81-91
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
The apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele is a well established genetic risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer's disease. It is associated with structural and functional brain changes in healthy young, middle-aged and elderly subjects. In the current study, we assessed the impact of the ApoE genotype on brain macro- and microstructure, cognitive functioning and brain activity in fifty healthy young subjects (25 ApoE epsilon4 (epsilon4+) carriers and 25 non-carriers (epsilon4-), mean age 26.4+/-4.6years). We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and voxel based morphometry (VBM) to assess brain structure, an extensive neuropsychological battery to test cognitive functioning and event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to capture brain activity during episodic memory encoding and retrieval. ApoE epsilon4 carriers differed from non-carriers in fMRI activations but not in cognitive performance nor in brain micro- and macrostructure. These results suggest functional alterations in the episodic memory network that are modulated by the epsilon4 allele and might precede clinical or structural neurodegeneration.
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