Growdon JH, Hyman BT.
APOE genotype and brain development.
JAMA Neurol. 2014 Jan;71(1):7-8.
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This is a nice study that adds to the significant literature of brain imaging studies examining the effects of ApoE. It is fairly unique due to the study of infants and the examination of myelination. It will be interesting to see what mechanisms emerge regarding ApoE's role in neurodevelopment (altered cholesterol/lipid metabolism certainly seems plausible) and how ApoE modulation of brain structure may impact risk for AD over a lifetime. Additionally, it lends credence to the idea of ApoE playing a multifactorial role in AD risk.
This is a very important and interesting study on a large MRI sample showing apolipoprotein E4's (ApoE4) influence on the formation of myelin and the development of hypotrophic phenomena in the brain tissue of children in the first two years of life. This process may in turn lead to neurodegeneration and progression of AD. The data obtained have something in common with the data discussed on Alzforum in January 2013, when R. Knickmeyer and colleagues from the University of North Carolina reported hippocampal and temporal lobes hypotrophy in newborns with ApoE4 (Knickmeyer et al., 2013). These studies confirm our data obtained among children aged 8-12 (Maksimovich et al., 2010; Maksimovich, 2012) who were direct descendants of patients suffering from AD and who also had hypotrophic symptoms in hippocampal and temporal lobes tissue in the brain (Maksimovich, 2012; Maksimovich, 2013).
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