The Influence of APOE ε4 on the Hippocampus and Hippocampus-Dependent Memory
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
APOE ε4 is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, a dementia characterized by memory impairment and hippocampal atrophy. While associated with episodic impairment and reduced hippocampal volume in healthy aging, APOE ε4 has been related to increased episodic memory performance in young adults. The effect of APOE ε4 on hippocampal volume in young age is uncertain, with studies showing comparable or smaller volumes in ε4 carriers. This thesis aims to further explore the effects of APOE ε4 on episodic memory and hippocampal volume in young adults. In addition to episodic memory, spatial memory will also be assessed, as both these memory types are hippocampus-dependent. Furthermore, potential modulating effects of sex are assessed, as sex differences has been found in relation to APOE-related pathology, episodic and spatial memory and hippocampal volume. Study I examined the effects of APOE ε4 on episodic and spatial memory and hippocampal volume in young adults. Hippocampal volume was assessed by manual tracing of the hippocampal head, body and tail. Study II considered whole-brain structural covariance patterns of the anterior and posterior hippocampus. Furthermore, the association between these patterns and episodic and spatial memory performance was assessed. Study III investigated the effects of APOE ε4 on episodic and spatial memory and hippocampal volume in three different age groups. This was done in order to further explore the different effects of APOE ε4 on cognition and hippocampal volume seen in young and older age. In summary, APOE ε4 was positively associated with spatial function and episodic memory in young adults. Although there were no effects of APOE ε4 on hippocampal volume, structural covariance patterns of the anterior and posterior hippocampus differed as a function of APOE ε4 and sex. Thus, structural covariance may provide an early measure of APOE ε4-related effects on brain structure. Moreover, sex was found to modulate the effects of APOE ε4 to the disadvantage of women. This was seen in both age-related hippocampal volume effects and in structural covariance patterns in young adults, as well as in spatial memory performance across age groups.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. , 85 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 130
APOE ε4, episodic memory, spatial memory, hippocampus
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302855ISBN: 978-91-554-9685-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-302855DiVA: diva2:968045
2016-10-28, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Mackay, Clare, Professor
Söderlund, Hedvig, Docent
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