Chronic cigarette smoking is associated with increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of this study was to examine whether smoking history moderated the associations of age and APOE genotype on brain amyloid deposition, glucose metabolism, and neurocognition in cognitively-normal elders.
Two hundred and sixty four subjects were grouped according to their APOE ε4 carrier and smoking status (smokers were defined as having at least 1 year of smoking during their lifetime; never-smokers were defined as having no history of smoking). Approximately 89% of the smoking sample consisted of former-smokers.
The smoker APOE4+ group showed lower glucose metabolism and poorer auditory-verbal learning and memory than never-smoking APOE4-, never-smoking APOE4+, and smoking APOE4- subjects. Smokers, irrespective of APOE ε4 carrier status, demonstrated poorer cognitive performance with increasing age than never-smokers. APOE4+ subjects (smokers and never-smokers) showed greater cortical amyloid deposition than APOE4- subjects.
The authors concluded that smoking history is essential to both better understand the factors associated with neurobiological and neurocognitive abnormalities in elders, and the risk for development of Alzheimer-related neuropathology.
Durazzo TC, Mattsson N and Weiner MW: Interaction of Cigarette Smoking History with APOE Genotype and Age on Amyloid Level, Glucose Metabolism, and Neurocognition in Cognitively-Normal Elders. Nicotine Tob. Res. [Epub ahead of print, April 6, 2015; doi:10.1093/ntr/ntv075].

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