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Depressive symptoms and APOE polymorphisms in an elderly population-based sample

García-Peña, Carmena; Juarez-Cedillo, Teresaa; Cruz-Robles, Davidb; Fragoso, José Manuelb; Sánchez-García, Sergioa; Rodríguez-Pérez, José Manuelb; Gallo, Joseph J.c; Wagner, Fernando A.d; Vargas-Alarcón, Gilbertob

doi: 10.1097/YPG.0b013e32833a211a
Original Articles

Aim Apolipoprotein E (APOE) has been regarded as the principal susceptibility gene linked with Alzheimer's disease, also suggesting a relationship with depression in the elderly population. Thus, the purpose was to investigate the association of APOE polymorphisms with depression in elderly adults.

Methods APOE polymorphisms were determined in a Mexican population-based sample older than 60 years (n=1566) using 5′ exonuclease TaqMan genotyping assays.

Results The distribution of the APOE allele and genotype frequencies was similar in patients with and without depression. There was no significant association between the presence of alleles or genotypes and depression and anxiety (Short Anxiety Screening Test) considering several combinations of other features. However, patients with the APOE*4 allele presented more thinking and concentration impairment than those patients with the APOE*3 allele.

Conclusion Genetic variation at the APOE gene may contribute to some depressive symptoms in late-onset depression, rather than being a specific risk factor.

aEpidemiologic and Health Service Research Unit, Aging Area, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social

bDepartment of Molecular Biology and Cardiovascular Disease's Genomic and Proteomic Study Group, Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chávez, Mexico City, Mexico

cDepartment of Family Practice and Community Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

dDrug Abuse Research Program, Center for Health Disparities Solutions, School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Correspondence to Dr Gilberto Vargas-Alarcón, PhD, Department of Molecular Biology, Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chávez, Juan Badiano No. 1, Col. Sección XVI, Tlalpan, C.P. 14050, México, D.F.

Tel: +5255 5573 29 11 x1461; fax: +5255 55 73 09 26;


Received 26 February 2009 Revised 18 November 2009 Accepted 1 January 2010

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.