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Interaction between years of education and APOE 4 status on frontal and temporal metabolism

Abstract : ABSTRACT: Objective: To examine interactions between years of education and APOE ε4 status on gray matter volume and metabolism in cognitively healthy subjects. Methods: Seventy-two healthy subjects (28 APOE ε4 carriers and 44 non-carriers; from 23 to 84 years of age) with FDG-PET and structural MRI were included. A subgroup also underwent florbetapir-PET. We tested the interaction effect between years of education and APOE ε4 status (carrier vs. non-carrier) on FDG-PET and structural MRI within the whole brain (voxel-wise) adjusting for age and sex. Computed florbetapir SUVr values were used for complementary analyses. Results: We found an interaction between years of education and APOE ε4 status on fronto-temporal FDG-PET metabolism, such that higher education was positively related to fronto-temporal metabolism only in APOE ε4 carriers. Complementary analyses revealed that: i) this interaction was independent from amyloid load; ii) increased metabolism in APOE ε4 carriers in this region correlated with episodic memory performances; iii) lower educated APOE ε4 carriers showed decreased metabolism relative to non-carriers in medial temporal and prefrontal areas, while higher educated carriers were comparable to non-carriers in these areas and showed increased metabolism in the middle temporal lobe. Conclusions: Our results showed that an environmental factor such as education may counteract the effects of APOE ε4 on metabolism independently of amyloid deposition. Higher metabolism in higher (compared to lower) educated APOE ε4 carriers was found in regions that sustain episodic memory. Overall, our results point to education as a protective factor that may help to postpone cognitive changes in APOE ε4 carriers.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 9, 2015 - 3:22:51 PM
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Eider Arenaza-Urquijo, Julie Gonneaud, Marine Fouquet, Audrey Perrotin, Florence Mezenge, et al.. Interaction between years of education and APOE 4 status on frontal and temporal metabolism. Neurology, American Academy of Neurology, 2015, 85 (16), ⟨10.1212/WNL.0000000000002034⟩. ⟨inserm-01226431⟩

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