Apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele frequency in elderly depressed patients with and without cerebrovascular disease.J Neurol Sci 2007; 257(1-2):280-3JN
Late-onset depression (LOD) could be a very early manifestation of Alzheimer's disease (AD), although contradictory results have been reported. Cerebrovascular disease (CVD) may favor the development of LOD, and that the particular forms of vascular depression should be individualized. The Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) epsilon4 allele was shown to be a risk factor for AD. Its role in LOD is controversial, while it is still unknown in vascular depression. Our objective was to clarify the relationship between ApoE epsilon4 allele and LOD in patients with and without CVD. We examined the ApoE phenotypes in a sample of 311 subjects: 50 with vascular LOD, 24 with LOD without CVD, 115 with AD and 122 normal controls (NC). The study of the ApoE epsilon4 allele frequency showed significant differences between: AD group and the vascular LOD and NC groups; LOD group without CVD compared with NC group (p<0.05 to 0.001). The frequency of the epsilon4 allele in the LOD group without CVD did not differ significantly from the AD group, similarly the frequency of the epsilon4 allele in the vascular LOD group was not different from that in NC. The study suggests an association between the ApoE epsilon4 allele and the LOD without CVD. These patients could be at risk of developing AD by an epsilon4-dependent pathway. In contrast, the results show no association between the presence of ApoE epsilon4 allele and vascular depression and provide further evidence in support of the concept that ApoE epsilon4 allele is not associated with clinical CVD.