Blog Relationship Between APOE Genes and Alzheimer’s Risk Based on Demographics: Study.

Relationship Between APOE Genes and Alzheimer’s Risk Based on Demographics: Study.

New research has provided fresh insights into how specific genetic variants interact with demographic factors, such as sex and ethnicity, to influence a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The study centers around a gene known as apolipoprotein E (APOE), a well-established genetic risk factor for AD, with different APOE variants carrying distinct effects (Source: Healthline).

APOE*2 has been recognized as protective against AD, while APOE*4 increases the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in JAMA Neurology, the recent report underscores the intricate interplay between genetics and demographics in AD risk.

The study discovered that the relationship between APOE*2 or APOE*4 and the risk of Alzheimer’s was most pronounced in white individuals, less so in Black individuals, and weakest in Hispanic individuals.

The risk of developing Alzheimer’s appears to be linked, at least partially, to the complex interrelationship between genetics and demographic characteristics.

The study examined the health and genetic data of 68,750-odd individuals, including 21,850 East Asian, 7,146 Black,  5,740 Hispanic, and 34,022 white individuals. Race and ethnicity were self-reported by participants.

The study aimed to evaluate the relationship between AD risk and various APOE genotypes while considering age, sex, race, and ethnicity. The results revealed that the association between APOE genotypes (both APOE*2 and APOE*4) and AD risk was most pronounced in white individuals and least significant among Hispanic individuals.

Notably, there was no association between APOE*2 and AD in Hispanic and East Asian individuals.

However, a protective effect emerged when East Asian and Hispanic individuals possessed both APOE*2 and APOE*4 genotypes.

Among Black individuals, a pattern emerged in which increased global European ancestry or decreased global African ancestry correlated with higher AD risk in the presence of APOE*4 dosage.

The study’s finding suggests APOE genotype to an individual’s AD risk varies according to the individual’s race and ethnicity.

Additionally, the study revealed a greater risk among women, particularly among white individuals aged 60 to 70 with the APOE*34 genotype.

The study’s findings underscore the importance of considering demographic factors in Alzheimer’s research and the potential for tailoring prevention and treatment strategies to individual genetic and demographic profiles. 

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