Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disease, is a dangerous disease that ranks as the 7th leading cause of death in Koreans. Alzheimer’s disease patients initially lose their memory, and then gradually lose their overall cognitive functions, such as speech and judgment. Eventually, the brain function deteriorates to the extent that daily life is impossible.
The Apo E test is a test that can detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage. Apo E is a gene that helps nerve recovery in the central nervous system, and there are three alleles, E2, E3, and E4. Apo E4 is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and patients with this gene are four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those without. Therefore, it is better to get an Apo E test and detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease in advance.
◇ Summary of three lines of Apo E test
This is a blood test that confirms the presence of Apo E4 among the apolipoprotein E types. After the patient’s informed consent, the allele of the Apo E gene in the blood is checked. The more the Apo E4 allele is detected, the higher the probability of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
◇ What kind of test is it?
This is a blood test to determine which Apo E allele the patient has. Blood is drawn from the patient’s vein, and the gene is tested with the patient’s informed consent. There is no need to prepare such as fasting before the test.
Apo E is a gene that helps nerve recovery in the central nervous system. There are three alleles E2, E3, and E4, and Apo E4 is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with this gene are four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who do not.
◇ Who and when should I receive it?
If Alzheimer’s disease is suspected, an Apo E test should be performed. If a man or woman over the age of 65 cannot remember places he or she has often visited, things they have done on a daily basis, or recent events, they should suspect Alzheimer’s. In addition, even if you are in your 40s or 50s, if the symptoms of not remembering recent events are repeated, you should suspect Alzheimer’s disease caused by familial inheritance.
◇ Apo E test result
– Normal findings
· Apo E allele: 0
A normal finding means that the Apo E4 gene was not detected. However, even without this gene, the probability of developing Alzheimer’s type dementia is 9%, so we cannot be relieved. Therefore, even if the findings are normal, if there are symptoms suspected of Alzheimer’s disease, additional tests should be performed.
– abnormal findings
· Apo E allele: 1
“The incidence of Alzheimer’s type dementia is relatively high.”
If one or more Apo E4 genes are detected, it means that the incidence of Alzheimer’s type dementia is relatively high. Patients with one Apo E4 gene have a 2.7 times higher risk of Alzheimer’s type dementia than those who do not. If you have two of these genes, the incidence rate increases by 17.4 times. The patient must undergo neuropsychological examination and brain imaging examination for an accurate diagnosis. When brain nerves are examined under a microscope, neuritic plaques or neurofibrillary tangles are observed, and brain atrophy due to neuronal loss is confirmed as a result of brain imaging tests, suggesting Alzheimer’s disease.
Supervision = Hidak Consulting Doctor Seunghwa Lee (Seongnam City Medical Center Family Medicine Specialist)