Is neuropathological heterogeneity in Alzheimer’s disease related to apolipoprotein genotype?

Richard A. Armstrong, K.M. Wade, D. Nochlin, T.D. Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The abundance of senile plaques (SP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) was studied in cortical and subcortical regions from 30 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) expressing different apolipoprotein E (apoE) genotypes. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to identify the most important neuropathological variations between individual patients and to determine whether these variations were related to apoE genotype. The first two principal components (PC) accounted for 60% and 40% of the total variance of the SP and NFT data respectively. The abundance of SP in the frontal and occipital cortex and NFT in the frontal cortex, amygdala and substantia nigra were positively correlated with the first principal component (PC1). Analysis of the SP data revealed that the apoE score of the patient (the sum of the two alleles) was positively correlated with PC1 while analysis of the NFT data revealed no significant correlations between apoE score and the PC. The data suggest that apoE genotype was more closely related to variations in the distribution and abundance of SP than of NFT. In addition, a more rapid spread of SP into the frontal and occipital cortex may occur in patients with a high apoE score.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalAlzheimers Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • apolipoprotein E
  • neurofibrillary tangles
  • principal components analysis
  • senile plaques


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