Cognitive performance in older women relative to ApoE-ε4 genotype and aerobic fitness

Jennifer L. Etnier, Richard J. Caselli, Eric M. Reiman, Gene E. Alexander, Benjamin A. Sibley, Deron Tessier, Elisabeth C. Mclemore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype and aerobic fitness are each associated with cognitive performance in older adults. However, their potentially interactive effects on cognitive performance have not been examined. PURPOSE: The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether ApoE genotype and aerobic fitness interact to uniquely impact memory performance and executive functioning. A secondary purpose was to examine the interactive effects on other measures of cognition to provide a more comprehensive assessment of cognitive abilities across a broad range of functions. METHODS: Community-dwelling, cognitively normal older women (N = 90) provided blood samples to allow for assessment of ApoE genotype, completed cognitive tests, and performed a maximal aerobic fitness test. Primary outcome variables were the auditory verbal learning test (AVLT), the complex figures test (CFT), and the Wisconsin card-sorting task (WCST). Secondary outcome variables were the block design test and the paced auditory serial addition task (PASAT). RESULTS: Regression analyses indicated that aerobic fitness was associated with significantly better performance on measures of the AVLT, the CFT, and the PASAT for the ApoE-ε4 homozygotes. CONCLUSION: The preliminary findings from this study support the possibility that aerobic fitness is positively associated with the memory performance of those individuals at most genetic risk for Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Executive function
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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