Front. Aging Neurosci., 08 July 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00154

The potential applications of Apolipoprotein E in personalized medicine

  • 1Department of Medicine, ECOGENE-21 and Lipid Clinic, Chicoutimi Hospital, Université de Montréal, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada
  • 2Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 3Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK

Personalized medicine uses various individual characteristics to guide medical decisions. Apolipoprotein (ApoE), the most studied polymorphism in humans, has been associated with several diseases. The purpose of this review is to elucidate the potential role of ApoE polymorphisms in personalized medicine, with a specific focus on neurodegenerative diseases, by giving an overview of its influence on disease risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. This review is not a systematic inventory of the literature, but rather a summary and discussion of novel, influential and promising works in the field of ApoE research that could be valuable for personalized medicine. Empirical evidence suggests that ApoE genotype informs pre-symptomatic risk for a wide variety of diseases, is valuable for the diagnosis of type III dysbetalipoproteinemia, increases risk of dementia in neurodegenerative diseases, and is associated with a poor prognosis following acute brain damage. ApoE status appears to influence the efficacy of certain drugs, outcome of clinical trials, and might also give insight into disease prevention. Assessing ApoE genotype might therefore help to guide medical decisions in clinical practice.

Keywords: ApoE, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer disease, neurodegenerative diseases, risk, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment

Citation: Villeneuve S, Brisson D, Marchant NL and Gaudet D (2014) The potential applications of Apolipoprotein E in personalized medicine. Front. Aging Neurosci. 6:154. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00154

Received: 18 March 2014; Accepted: 18 June 2014;
Published online: 08 July 2014.

Edited by:

Paula I. Moreira, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Reviewed by:

Ya Ke, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
André Karch, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany

Copyright © 2014 Villeneuve, Brisson, Marchant and Gaudet. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Daniel Gaudet, ECOGENE-21, Chicoutimi Hospital, Université de Montréal, 305 St.-Vallier, Chicoutimi, QC G7H 5H6, Canada e-mail:

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