The apolipoprotein 4 allele increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but cerebral deposition of B-amyloid with age, a genetic mutation, or head injury may contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease. We examined the risks of AD associated with traumatic head injury and apolipoprotein 4 in 236 community-dwelling elderly persons. A 10-fold increase in the risk of AD was associated with both apolipoprotein 4a nd a history of traumatic head injury, compared with a two-fold increase in risk with apolipoprotein 4 alone. Head injury in the absence of an apolipoprotein 4 allele did not increase risk. These data imply that the biological effects of head injury may increase the risk of AD, but only through a synergistic relationship with apolipoprotein 4.
Maestre, Gladys E., "Synergistic effects of traumatic head injury and apolipoprotein 4 in patients with Alzheimer’s disease" (1995). School of Medicine Publications and Presentations. 41.