Dose dependent effect of APOE ε4 on behavioral symptoms in frontal lobe dementia

Sebastiaan Engelborghs, Bart Dermaut, Peter Mariën, Anoek Symons, Ellen Vloeberghs, Karen Maertens, Nore Somers, Johan Goeman, Rosa Rademakers, Marleen Van Den Broeck, Barbara Pickut, Marc Cruts, Christine Van Broeckhoven, Peter P. De Deyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


To determine whether apolipoprotein alleles (APOE) influence behavioral and psychological signs and symptoms of dementia (BPSD), we initiated a prospective, longitudinal study. Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) (N = 186), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) (N = 29), mixed dementia (MXD) (N = 28), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) (N = 11) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) (N = 7) were included. Blood was collected for DNA extraction and APOE genotyping. Behavioral assessments were performed at baseline and semi-annually thereafter, using behavioral assessment scales (Middelheim frontality score, behavioral pathology in Alzheimer's disease rating scale (Behave-AD)). In FTD patients, we identified dose dependent effects of APOE ε4 on the Behave-AD total and cluster aggressiveness scores. APOE ε2 was associated with a higher score on the Behave-AD cluster delusions in PDD/DLB patients. No APOE effects on frequency or severity of BPSD in AD and MXD patients were found. In conclusion, APOE has disease-specific effects on BPSD in FTD and PDD/DLB patients, given the reported associations of APOE ε4 with aggression (FTD) and of APOE ε2 with delusions (PDD/DLB).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • APOE
  • Aggressiveness
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Anxiety
  • BPSD
  • Behavior
  • Delusions
  • Dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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