The Alzheimer’s Gene Puzzle – The ApoE4 Variant As A Risk Factor

The Alzheimer’s Gene Puzzle – The ApoE4 Variant As A Risk Factor

Genetic risk factors to Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (LOAD) are significant. A recent study of nearly 12,000 Swedish twin pairs, age 65 and older, determined that 58% to 79% of Alzheimer’s risk is genetic (1). This study showed that in male identical twins, when one brother had Alzheimer’s disease, the other developed the disease 45% of the time. In female identical twins, when one sister had Alzheimer’s disease, the other developed the disease 60% of the time. While this study did not delve into specific gene influences in LOAD, numerous studies have identified Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4), as a prominent genetic risk factor for LOAD. About 25% of the population has one copy of the ApoE4 gene and individuals with the the ApoE4 gene are estimated to make up approximately 40%-80% of the Alzheimer’s disease population. (2)

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