The relationship between structural variants of the apolipoprotein E gene, APOE epsilon2/epsilon3/epsilon4, and dementia is well established, whereas the relationship of plasma apoE levels with dementia is less clear. Plasma apoE levels are under tight genetic control but vary widely within the various genotypes indicating that the APOE epsilon2/epsilon3/epsilon4 locus explains only a small fraction of this variation. Here we studied the association of plasma apolipoprotein E (apoE) levels with cognitive function in the elderly population at large. Within the Leiden 85-plus Study, a prospective population-based study of subjects aged 85 years, we measured plasma apoE level and genotype at base line. During a 5-year follow-up period, cognitive function was annually assessed using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and a standardized neuropsychological test battery. Among epsilon3epsilon3 carriers (n = 324), high plasma apoE levels associated with impaired global cognitive function (-1.10 points change in MMSE score per one standard deviation increase of plasma apoE level, P = 0.001), as well as lower attention (P = 0.064), speed and memory function (all P stroke.
Mooijaart, S. P., van Vliet, P., van Heemst, D., Rensen, P. C., Berbee, J. F., Jolles, J., Craen, A. J., & Westendorp, R. G. J. (2007). Plasma levels of apolipoprotein E and cognitive function in old age. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1100, 148-61. https://doi.org/10.1196/annals.1395.013