A distinctive interaction between memory and chronic daytime somnolence in asymptomatic APOE e4 homozygotes

Richard J. Caselli, Eric M. Reiman, Joseph G. Hentz, Dbavid Osborne, Gene E. Alexander, Bradley F. Boeve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To correlate memory measures with a trait measure of chronic daytime somnolence in cognitively normal individuals with different gene doses of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) e4 allele, a common Alzheimer's disease susceptibility gene. Design: Cross-sectional, exploratory study of cognitive abilities in APOE e4 homozygotes (HMZ) (n=42), heterozygotes (HTZ), (n=42) and noncarriers (NC) (n=42) who are matched for age, gender, educational level, and family history of dementia. Setting: Tertiary care academic medical center Participants: Cognitively normal residents of Maricopa County, Arizona who are 30-70 years of age, genotyped for APOE, and have no history of a sleep disorder Interventions: N/A Measurements: Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and a battery of neuropsychological tests Results: Age, education, gender, and insomnia complaints did not significantly differ among groups. Despite normal baseline memory scores, memory declined with increasing ESS on all eight memory measures in the HMZ, two of eight in the HTZ, and one of eight in the NC. Differences between HMZ and NC on the slope of memory decline with increasing ESS reached statistical significance on two verbal memory measures, AVLT Long-Term Memory (p=0.048) and Percent Delayed Recall (p=0.035). Conclusions: Chronic daytime somnolence is associated with a distinctive decline in verbal memory in cognitively normal APOE e4 HMZ, a group at particularly high risk of Alzheimer's disease. Additional studies are needed to confirm these exploratory findings and to determine the effects of acute somnolence on cognition in these genetic subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 15 2002


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Memory
  • Somnolence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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