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BACKGROUND: The apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene ɛ4 allele is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease. However, its relationship with cognition and brain volume after stroke is not clear. OBJECTIVE: We compared cognition and medial temporal lobe volumes in APOEɛ4 carriers and non-carriers in the first year after ischemic stroke. METHODS: We sampled 20 APOEɛ4 carriers and 20 non-carriers from a larger cohort of 135 ischemic stroke participants in the longitudinal CANVAS study. Participants were matched on a range of demographic and stroke characteristics. We used linear mixed-effect models to compare cognitive domain z-scores (attention, processing speed, executive function, verbal and visual memory, language, visuospatial function) and regional medial temporal lobe volumes (hippocampal, entorhinal cortex) between groups at each time-point (3, 12-months post-stroke), and within groups across time-points. APOE gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs7412, rs429358) were genotyped on venous blood. RESULTS: APOEɛ4 carriers and non-carriers did not differ on any demographic, clinical, or stroke variable. Carriers performed worse than non-carriers in verbal memory at 3 months post-stroke (p = 0.046), but were better in executive function at 12 months (p = 0.035). Carriers demonstrated a significant improvement in verbal memory (p = 0.012) and executive function (p = 0.015) between time-points. Non-carriers demonstrated a significant improvement in visual memory (p = 0.0005). Carriers had smaller bilateral entorhinal cortex volumes (p < 0.05), and larger right sided and contralesional hippocampal volumes, at both time-points (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: APOE ɛ4 is associated with delayed recovery of verbal memory function and reduced entorhinal cortex volumes in the first year after ischemic stroke.

Original publication

DOI

10.3233/JAD-190566

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Alzheimers Dis

Publication Date

2019

Volume

71

Pages

245 - 259

Keywords

Apolipoproteins E, hippocampus, magnetic resonance imaging, memory, stroke