To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.
2015 Grants - Nielsen
Apolipoprotein E Levels: A Risk-Determinant for Neurodegenerative Disease
Henrietta M. Nielsen, Ph.D.
Mayo Clinic Jacksonville
2015 New Investigator Research Grant
Are levels of apolipoprotein E in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid related to the onset, progression and severity of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies?
A variation of the apolipoprotein E gene known as (APOE-e4) has been shown to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). The APOE gene codes for the production of ApoE protein, and it is possible that altered levels of this protein may play a role in the disease process. However, scientists do not know if this is the case because they have not yet had a reliable way to accurately measure levels of the protein.
Dr. Nielsen and colleagues have developed a novel, highly sensitive way to measure apolipoprotein E levels in samples of blood and cerebrospinal fluid, which is the fluid that surrounds nerve cells in the brain. The research team will measure the levels of apolipoprotein E in several groups of people, including healthy older people, people who have Alzheimer’s disease, people who have DLB, and people who have mild cognitive impairment, a condition of cognitive decline which sometimes precedes Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Dr. Nielsen’s team will determine if levels of the protein are related to disease onset, severity or progression.
The results of this study will provide valuable information as to whether levels of apolipoprotein E can help predict which individuals are at risk for developing Alzheimer’s, the severity of the disease, or possible differences between dementias, such as Alzheimer’s or DLB. These findings could also lead to the development of new laboratory tests for earlier detection and diagnosis.