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Better memory and neural efficiency in young apolipoprotein E epsilon4 carriers


Mondadori, C R A; de Quervain, D J F; Buchmann, A; Mustovic, H; Wollmer, M A; Schmidt, C F; Boesiger, P; Hock, C; Nitsch, R M; Papassotiropoulos, A; Henke, K (2007). Better memory and neural efficiency in young apolipoprotein E epsilon4 carriers. Cerebral Cortex, 17(8):1934-1947.

Abstract

The apolipoprotein E (APOE) epsilon4 allele is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, but an APOE effect on memory performance and memory-related neurophysiology in young, healthy subjects is unknown. We found an association of APOE epsilon4 with better episodic memory compared with APOE epsilon2 and epsilon3 in 340 young, healthy persons. Neuroimaging was performed in a subset of 34 memory-matched individuals to study genetic effects on memory-related brain activity independently of differential performance. E4 carriers decreased brain activity over 3 learning runs, whereas epsilon2 and epsilon3 carriers increased activity. This smaller neural investment of epsilon4 carriers into learning reappeared during retrieval: epsilon4 carriers exhibited reduced retrieval-related activity with equal retrieval performance. APOE isoforms had no differential effects on cognitive measures other than memory, brain volumes, and brain activity related to working memory. We suggest that APOE epsilon4 is associated with good episodic memory and an economic use of memory-related neural resources in young, healthy humans.

The apolipoprotein E (APOE) epsilon4 allele is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, but an APOE effect on memory performance and memory-related neurophysiology in young, healthy subjects is unknown. We found an association of APOE epsilon4 with better episodic memory compared with APOE epsilon2 and epsilon3 in 340 young, healthy persons. Neuroimaging was performed in a subset of 34 memory-matched individuals to study genetic effects on memory-related brain activity independently of differential performance. E4 carriers decreased brain activity over 3 learning runs, whereas epsilon2 and epsilon3 carriers increased activity. This smaller neural investment of epsilon4 carriers into learning reappeared during retrieval: epsilon4 carriers exhibited reduced retrieval-related activity with equal retrieval performance. APOE isoforms had no differential effects on cognitive measures other than memory, brain volumes, and brain activity related to working memory. We suggest that APOE epsilon4 is associated with good episodic memory and an economic use of memory-related neural resources in young, healthy humans.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:06 Sep 2011 08:45
Last Modified:16 Aug 2016 10:14
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1047-3211
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhl103
PubMed ID:17077159

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