HealthDay News — A multidomain lifestyle intervention seems to be beneficial for cognition in older at-risk individuals, even among apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 carriers, according to a study published online in JAMA Neurology.

Alina Solomon, MD, PhD, from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues analyzed data from the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability, in which at-risk older individuals (aged 60 to 77 years) were randomized to a multidomain intervention group (diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk management) or a control group (general healthy advice). A total of 1109 participants were included in the analysis: 362 APOE ε4 allele carriers and 747 noncarriers.

The researchers found that for the annual neuropsychological test battery total score change, the difference between the intervention and control groups was 0.037 (95% CI, 0.001-0.073) among carriers and 0.014 (95% CI, −0.011-0.039) among noncarriers. There was no significant difference in the intervention effect between carriers and noncarriers (0.023; 95% CI, −0.021-0.067).

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“Healthy lifestyle changes may be beneficial for cognition in older at-risk individuals even in the presence of APOE-related genetic susceptibility to dementia,” the authors write. “Whether such benefits are more pronounced in APOE ε4 carriers compared with noncarriers should be further investigated.”

The study was funded in part by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.


Solomon A, Turunen H, Ngandu T, et al. Effect of the apolipoprotein E genotype on cognitive change during a multidomain lifestyle intervention: a subgroup anaylsis of a randomized clinical trial [published online January 22, 2018]. JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.4365