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Alzheimer’s Apolipoprotein E gene

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ApoE test determines an individual’s genetic risk associated with the Apolipoprotein E gene. ApoE is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol and triglycerides, and variants in this gene can have clinically relevant implications for disease risk as well as one’s response to statin therapy, dietary fat, and other risk factors (eg., smoking and alcohol consumption). Approximately 45% of individuals carry one or more of the high risk variants within the ApoE gene. The results of the genotyping of Apolipoprotein E have important implications in the treatment strategies for individual patients in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

Researchers have identified certain genes that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other rare “deterministic” genes that directly cause Alzheimer’s. Although genetic tests are available for some of these genes, health professionals do not currently recommend routine genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease.

Risk genes: While there is a blood test for APOE-e4, the strongest risk gene for Alzheimer’s, this test is mainly used in clinical trials to identify people at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Carrying this gene mutation only indicates a greater risk; it does not indicate whether a person will develop Alzheimer’s or whether a person has Alzheimer’s.