Study Title
APOE effects on cognition from childhood to adolescence
Neurobiology of Aging

Chandra A. Reynolds, Andrew Smolen, Robin P. Corley, Elizabeth Munoz, Naomi P. Friedman, Soo Hyun Rhee, Michael C. Stallings, John C. DeFries, Sally J. Wadsworth


The ε4 allele of APOE is a well-established genetic risk factor for cognitive aging and dementia, but its influence on early life cognition is unknown. Consequently, we assessed associations of APOE genotypes with cognitive performance during 7, 12, and 16 year-assessments in our ongoing Colorado Adoption/ Twin Study of Lifespan behavioral development (CATSLife). In general, APOE ε4 was associated with lower Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQ scores during childhood and adolescence (e.g., Full Scale IQ was lower by 1.91 points per ε4 allele, d 1⁄4 0.13), with larger effects in females (e.g., average Full Scale IQ scores were 3.41 points lower in females per each ε4 allele vs. 0.33 points lower in males). Thus, these results suggest that deleterious effects of the APOE ε4 allele are manifested before adulthood, especially in females, and support both early origin theories and differential life-course vulnerabilities for later cognitive impairment.

April 14, 2019
View study

Share This

Related Topics

Cognitive ImpairmentAPOE4DementiaAlzheimer’s

Dr. Perlmutter is one of the leading lights in medicine today, illuminating the path for solving chronic illness

Mark Hyman, MD