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The prevalence of clinical signs and neuropathological findings of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is high in Down's syndrome (DS). In the general population, the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) epsilon 4 isoform is an important risk for AD. We studied the allelic frequencies of ApoE in 26 DS cases fulfilling clinical diagnostic criteria for AD and in 26 DS controls matched for age, sex, and premorbid level of mental retardation. A meta-analysis of data available in the literature was used for comparison with allele frequencies in other AD and control populations. ApoE type 2, 3, or 4 allele frequencies were not significantly different in AD-DS cases and DS controls. The ApoE epsilon 4 frequency in DS cases with AD (0.14; CI, 0.06-0.26) was significantly lower than in any other AD population studied so far and it is within the range of nondemented controls from the general population. These findings suggest that ApoE epsilon 4 does not significantly affect the pathogenesis of AD in DS patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Annals of neurology

Publication Date





225 - 230


Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Department of Neurology, The Netherlands.


Humans, Alzheimer Disease, Down Syndrome, Apolipoproteins E, Case-Control Studies, Gene Frequency, Genotype, Alleles, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male