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The APOE*4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) is an important risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. It has been suggested that levels of apolipoprotein E (apoE) in plasma are increased in Alzheimer's disease. In this population-based study, we found that serum apoE levels were lower in Alzheimer patients compared to non-demented controls (0.75 micromol/l (SD 0.35), vs. 0.83 micromol/l (SD 0.40), P < 0.05). This finding is in accordance with lower serum apoE levels as observed in carriers of the APOE*4 allele, who are over-represented in Alzheimer's disease. After adjustment for age, sex, total protein, albumin level, body mass index and the APOE genotype, the difference in serum apoE levels largely disappeared. Our population-based study suggests that the differences in serum apoE level between Alzheimer patients and controls are mainly the result of differences in the distribution of the APOE genotype.


Journal article


Neurosci Lett

Publication Date





21 - 24


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Apolipoproteins E, Cohort Studies, Female, Genotype, Humans, Male, Middle Aged