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Apoe-genotyping-alzheimer-disease



Why Get Tested

APOE genotyping is not widely used The clinical usefulness of this test is still being researched but it may be used as an aid in the diagnosis of probable late onset Alzheimer disease AD in a symptomatic adult

When To Get Tested

When you have progressive symptoms of dementia and your health practitioner wants to determine the likelihood that this is due to AD

Sample Required

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed

None




Common Questions


APOE genotyping is sometimes used as an adjunct test to help in the diagnosis of probable late onset Alzheimer disease AD in symptomatic adults It is called susceptibility or risk factor testing because it indicates whether there is an increased risk of AD but is not specifically diagnostic of AD If a person has dementia the presence of APOE e4 may increase the likelihood that the dementia is due to AD but does not prove that it is There are no clear-cut tests to diagnose Alzheimer disease during life Health practitioners can however make a reasonably accurate clinical diagnosis of AD by ruling out other potential causes of dementia and checking for a genetic predisposition to AD with APOE genotyping as supplemental information in conjunction with Tau A 42 testing

APOE genotyping may be ordered as an adjunct test when an individual has symptoms of progressive dementia such as decreasing intellectual ability and language and speech skills memory loss and personality and behavioral changes that are starting to interfere with daily living After non-AD causes such as overmedication vascular dementia caused by strokes and thyroid disease have been ruled out APOE genotyping may help determine the probability that dementia is due to Alzheimer disease

People who have symptoms of late onset Alzheimer disease AD and have one or more APOE e4 copies are more likely to have AD However it is not diagnostic of AD and should not be used to screen asymptomatic people or their family members Many of those who have e4 alleles will never develop AD Even in symptomatic people only about 60 of those with late onset AD will have APOE e4 alleles

Although APOE genotyping is being used clinically by Alzheimer experts the most it can provide at this time is additional information about a person with dementia A definite diagnosis of Alzheimer disease can only be made by examining a person s brain tissue after their death APOE genotyping is not available in every laboratory If a health practitioner recommends this test the specimen will likely be sent to a reference laboratory and results may take longer to return than they would from a local laboratory

No not at this time Forty percent of those who have late onset Alzheimer disease AD are negative for APOE e4 alleles While genetic mutations of the PSEN1 PSEN2 and APP genes are associated with AD in a very small number of specific family lines they are associated with early onset AD not late onset If your father did not show signs of AD until after the age of 65 then this other genetic testing is not indicated If you have a very strong family history of AD several family members over several generations have had AD you may want to talk to your father s doctor about family risk factors

No the test is not intended to be used to screen the general population It is intended to be used in very specific situations to give a health practitioner additional information The majority of people have APOE e3 Most of the people with other APOE combinations will never develop APOE-associated late onset AD

No not unless your health care provider suspects that the first test was in error A person inherits one copy of the gene from each parent and genotype does not change

If so see APOE Genotyping Cardiovascular Disease