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APOE/TOMM40 genetic loci, white matter hyperintensities and cerebral microbleeds

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    Rights statement: © 2015 The Authors. International Journal of Stroke published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of World Stroke Organization. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1300
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number8
Early online date26 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015



Two markers of cerebral small vessel disease are white matter hyperintensities and cerebral microbleeds, which commonly occur in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Aim and/or hypothesis

To test for independent associations between two Alzheimer's disease-susceptibility gene loci – APOE ε and the TOMM40 ‘523’ poly-T repeat – and white matter hyperintensities/cerebral microbleed burden in community-dwelling older adults.


Participants in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 underwent genotyping for APOE ε and TOMM40 523, and detailed structural brain magnetic resonance imaging at a mean age of 72·70 years (standard deviation = 0·7; range = 71–74).


No significant effects of APOE ε or TOMM40 523 genotypes on white matter hyperintensities or cerebral microbleed burden were found amongst 624 participants.


Lack of association between two Alzheimer's disease susceptibility gene loci and markers of cerebral small vessel disease may reflect the relative health of this population compared with those in other studies in the literature.

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