BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The relationship between apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and onset of vascular dementia remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between ApoE polymorphism and the onset of subcortical vascular dementia (SVaD) compared to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and normal controls. METHODS: The study was comprised of 61 patients with SVaD (42 Binswanger type, 19 lacunar type) and 112 patients with AD (16 early-onset AD, 96 late-onset AD) as well as 284 age-, gender- and education-matched normal controls. The diagnosis of SVaD was based on modified NINDS-AIREN criteria, and the diagnosis of AD was based on NINCDS-ADRDA criteria. ApoE polymorphism was genotyped in all participants. RESULTS: None of the three ApoE alleles was more prevalent in SVaD patients compared to normal controls, which was the case when both Binswanger and lacunar types were analyzed separately. ApoE 4 did not accelerate the onset of SVaD (OR 1.66, 95% CI: 0.8-3.4), in contrast to a significant relation with late-onset AD (OR 3.78, 95% CI: 2.2-6.5). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that ApoE polymorphism is not associated with the onset of SVaD and that the two subtypes of SVaD may share similar pathophysiologies.
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