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Education May Affect β-Amyloid Burden in Alzheimer Disease

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5, 2020 -- Years of education and the ε4 risk allele at APOE influence β-amyloid pathology in asymptomatic individuals with a parental history of sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD), while only years of education influence β-amyloid pathology in presymptomatic autosomal dominant AD mutation carriers, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in Neurology.

Julie Gonneaud, Ph.D., from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues analyzed cross-sectional data from 106 asymptomatic individuals with a parental history of sporadic AD and 117 presymptomatic autosomal dominant AD mutation carriers. The influence of years of education, APOE-ε4 status, and their interaction on β-amyloid positron emission tomography was examined in each cohort.

The researchers found that increased β-amyloid burden was associated with APOE-ε4 carriage and a lower level of education for asymptomatic individuals with a parental history of sporadic AD; no interaction was seen between these. There was no relation between APOE-ε4 and β-amyloid burden among presymptomatic mutation carriers of autosomal dominant AD; however, increasing level of education was associated with decreased β-amyloid burden. In the two cohorts, there was a similar association between educational attainment and β-amyloid burden.

"These results add to the growing literature suggesting that preventive strategies targeting environmental/modifiable risk factors could prevent, or at least delay, AD cases," the authors write.

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Posted: August 2020

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