Apolipoprotein E, brain injury and neurodevelopmental outcome of children

M. Korja*, M. Ylijoki, H. Lapinleimu, P. Pohjola, J. Matomäki, H. Kuśmierek, M. Mahlman, H. Rikalainen, R. Parkkola, T. Kaukola, L. Lehtonen, M. Hallman, L. Haataja

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Apolipoprotein E plays an important role in neurodegenerative processes in adulthood, whereas its neurodevelopmental role is uncertain. We aimed to study the effect of apolipoprotein E on neurodevelopment in a cohort liable to neurodevelopmental changes. The cohort consisted of very preterm (<32 gestational weeks) and/or very low birth weight (<1500g) children, and the longitudinal follow-up protocol included sequential cranial ultrasounds during infancy, brain magnetic resonance imaging at term-equivalent age, neurological and cognitive assessment (Mental Developmental Index) at the corrected age of 2 years and cognitive and neuropsychological assessments (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence and Developmental NEuroPSYchological Assessment) at the chronological age of 5 years. Apolipoprotein E genotypes were determined from 322 children. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging data were available for 321 (99.7%) and 151 (46.9%) children, respectively. Neurodevelopmental assessment data were available for 138 (42.9%) to 171 (53.1%) children. Abnormal findings in ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging were found in 163 (50.8%) and 64 (42.4%) children, respectively. Mild cognitive delay at the corrected age of 2 years and the chronological age of 5 years was suspected in 21 (12.3%) of 171 and 19 (13.8%) of 138 children, respectively. In the Developmental NEuroPSYchological Assessment, 47 (32.6%) of 144 children had significantly impaired performances in more than one study subtest. No associations between the apolipoprotein E genotypes and imaging findings or measured neurodevelopmental variables were found. Apolipoprotein E genotypes do not appear to have major impact on brain vulnerability or neurodevelopment in children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)348-352
    Number of pages5
    JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


    • APOE
    • Apolipoprotein E
    • Brain injury
    • Genotype
    • Neurodevelopment
    • Preterm
    • Very low birth weight


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