Relation of age and apolipoprotein E to cognitive function in Down syndrome adults

Gene E. Alexander, Ann M. Saunders, Joanna Szczepanik, Terri L. Strassburger, Pietro Pietrini, Alessio Dani, Maura L. Furey, Marc J. Mentis, Allen D. Roses, Stanley I. Rapoport, Mark B. Schapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


TO test the cognitive effects of aging and apolipoprotein E (APOE) in individuals at high risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD), we assessed APOE genotypes and performance on a battery of neuropsychological tests in 41 non- demented, Down syndrome (DS) adults. Old DS subjects (ages 41-61 years) showed poorer memory and orientation scores than young DS adults (ages 22-38 years), but the groups did not differ in other measures after we controlled for intellectual function. Language ability was inversely related to APOE genotype, even after age was controlled for, with the presence of the ε2 allele corresponding to better language skills than ε4. Age-related cognitive changes in non-demented DS adults are consistent with the early effects of AD. The relationship between basic linguistic skills and APOE genotype supports this genetic factor in influencing the development of dementia and AD neuropathology in DS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1835-1840
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Cognition
  • Down syndrome
  • Neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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