Genetic Polymorphisms Influence Cognition in Patients Undergoing Carotid Interventions

Elizabeth Hitchner, Doug Morrison, Phoebe Liao, Allyson Rosen, Wei Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While carotid interventions help decrease the risk of stroke, nearly 40% of patients experience cognitive deterioration. Genetic polymorphism in apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been implicated in cognitive impairment; however, it is unclear whether they may influence cognitive changes in patients undergoing carotid intervention. In this study, we seek to assess the role of genetic polymorphisms in carotid intervention-related cognitive change. Polymorphisms related to cognitive function were chosen for this preliminary analysis. Over 2 years, patients undergoing carotid interventions were prospectively recruited. Patients underwent neuropsychological testing 2 weeks prior to and at 1 month following their procedure. Saliva samples were collected for genetic analysis. Logistic regressions were used to identify associations between polymorphisms and cognitive measures. A total of 91 patients were included; all were male with an average age of 70 years. The majority of patients exhibited hypertension (95%) and a history of smoking (81%). Presence of ApoE 4 allele was associated with depression (p= 0.047). After correcting for age and genetic polymorphisms in BDNF and serotonin transporter (5-HTT), ApoE 4 allele was associated with depression (p= 0.044) and showed a trend with baseline cognitive impairment (p= 0.10). Age ≥ 70 years was associated with baseline cognitive impairment after adjusting for the three genetic polymorphisms (p= 0.03). Patients with ApoE 4 and BDNF A polymorphisms performed less well on the visual and verbal memory measures, respectively. Polymorphisms in ApoE and BDNF may provide insight on cognition in patients undergoing carotid interventions; however, the mechanism of this relationship remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Angiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • carotid endarterectomy
  • carotid stenosis
  • carotid stent
  • cognition
  • genetic
  • internal carotid artery
  • polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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