Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Subjective Cognitive Decline and APOE as Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Factors

Publication Date

Spring 3-31-2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Michael Oliver

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia and is characterized by progressive cognitive decline. The likelihood of developing AD is increased by both polymorphisms in apolipoprotein (APOE) genotype and subjective cognitive decline (SCD). However, there is limited longitudinal data investigating the relationship between SCD and APOE status. This study aims to investigate how APOE status could impact the rate of cognitive decline in people with preclinical AD. Linear mixed effects models examined the relationship between APOE status and cognitive change in cognitively unimpaired older adults with and without SCD, and people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) over a 25-year follow-up period. Results show that APOE ɛ4 is associated with lower baseline cognition and greater rate of change, while APOE ɛ2 is associated with higher baseline cognition and lower rate of change, regardless of diagnostic group. Individuals with SCD display similar baseline cognition compared to cognitively unimpaired adults without SCD; however, they display a rate of change in ɛ3 and ɛ4 similar to those with MCI. These findings suggest that the combination of SCD and APOE ɛ3 or ɛ4 genotype could be indicative of worse cognitive decline. These findings have important implications for treatment of dementia.

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