A variety of anatomic and functional neuroimaging findings are associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). One of the strongest imaging associations identified is between AD and hippocampal atrophy. The ε4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene increases the risk of developing AD and lowers the mean age of onset of the disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between hippocampal volume and ApoE polymorphisms in elderly control subjects and in patients with probable AD. We performed magnetic resonance imaging-based volume measurements of the hippocampus in 125 cognitively normal elderly controls and 62 patients with probable AD. ApoE genotyping was performed by using standard methods. Hippocampal volumes were significantly smaller in AD cases than in control subjects. Hippocampal volumes did not differ significantly within either clinical group on the basis of ApoE genotype. Both the ε4 allele of ApoE and hippocampal atrophy were significantly but independently associated with AD.
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