Utilizing apolipoprotein E genotypes and associated comorbidities for the assessment of the risk for dementia
Tung Hsin, Lin Ching-Heng, Chen Yi-Ming, Lee Wei-Ju, Chien Li-Sheng, Sun Ting-Hsuan, Liao Cai-Sian, Lin Yung-Yang, Hsiao Tzu-Hung
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Volume 14, 2022
This study demonstrates correlation, not cause. I wish they could have included markers for inflammation, evidence for any significant ongoing infections and some case history of major illnesses, all of which might cause various of these comorbidities, and perhaps also dementia.Conclusion
Our study demonstrated that dementia patients not only had a higher chance to carry the ε4 allele, but also had a higher prevalence of many chronic illnesses within 3 years before the cognitive decline, including hypertension, headache, epilepsy, CVA, CAD, sleep disorders, psychiatric disorders, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and fibromyalgia. Although ApoE polymorphism seems to be the riskiest factor for dementia, the effects of the number of ε4 alleles differ. The ε4 homozygotes presented a persistently high risk for dementia in all age groups, while the risk only emerged after 65 years in ε3/ε4 subjects. Among these comorbidities, the occurrence of CVA, sleep disorders, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and fibromyalgia seemed to be predictive of cognitive decline within 3 years. Besides, functional gastrointestinal disorders might be an important predicting factor for dementia occurrence in ε4 allele carriers.
Still, the presence of functional gastrointestinal disorder as a highly significant comorbidity is interesting. The authors provide some factoids about gut issues, but don't provide any analysis of potential causes or specific symptoms. So, I guess, one takeaway is that if your gut is kind of broken, it might be worth trying to make it better. Of course, if that's the case, you're probably already pretty motivated to try to fix it - and wishing that science would catch up enough to deterministically help you.