Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2020

Vitamin D Levels, APOE Allele, and MRI Volumetry Assessed by NeuroQuant in Norwegian Adults with Cognitive Symptoms.

Background: Allele ɛ4 of the apolipoprotein (APOE∈4) gene is the strongest known genetic risk factor for late-onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. A possible relationship between vitamin D and APOE is not yet clear.
Objective: In this exploratory, cross-sectional study, we examined the association between serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and brain volumes and the associations of both serum levels of 25(OH)D and APOE polymorphism to brain volumes in 127 persons (mean age 66 years) with cognitive symptoms.
Methods: All subjects were examined with fully automated software for MRI volumetry, NeuroQuant.
Results: After adjustment for relevant covariates, higher serum 25(OH)D levels were associated with greater volumes of cortical gray matter on both left (p = 0.02) and right (p = 0.04) sides. When both 25(OH)D levels and APOE genotype were used as the main covariates, no significant associations were found between vitamin D level and brain volume in any of the 11 brain regions. In adjusted models, only homozygous but not heterozygous APOE∈4 allele carriers had significantly larger inferior lateral ventricles (p = 0.003) and smaller hippocampal volume (p = 0.035) than those without ɛ4. Homozygous APOE∈4 carriers also had significantly higher vitamin D levels (p = 0.009) compared to persons without the APOE∈4 allele.
Conclusion: Higher vitamin D levels might have a preserving effect on cortical grey matter volume.


Jelena Zugic Soares, Renate Pettersen, Jūratė Šaltytė Benth, Karin Persson, Carsten Strobel , Geir Selbæk, Nenad Bogdanovic.

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