Objective: To determine whether individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the K variant allele of butyrylcholinesterase have a slower rate of cognitive decline than those without the K variant allele of butyrylcholinesterase.
Method: The cognitive status of 339 community based subjects with AD was assessed with the Mini Mental State Examination at baseline and yearly over a three year follow up period. The rates of cognitive decline of subjects with and without the K variant allele were compared.
Result: Presence of the K allele was associated with a slower average rate of cognitive decline in subjects with severe AD.
Conclusions: This finding is consistent with the suggestion that the K variant of butyrylcholinesterase has an important role in disease progression in AD, and this may have implications for treatment.
- AD, Alzheimer’s disease
- ApoE, apolipoprotein E
- CDCR, Camberwell Dementia Case Register
- MMSE, Mini Mental State Examination
- OPTIMA, Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing
- Alzheimer’s disease
- cognitive decline
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This study was funded in part by Novartis Pharmaceuticals which has a special interest in the role of butyrylcholinesterase in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease; Bristol Myers Squibb; the Norman Collisson Foundation; and by the Wellcome Trust.
Competing interests: S Lovestone has research collaborations and has received speaker’s fees and educational grants from a variety of companies that manufacture cholinesterase inhibitors that may or may not have some butyrylcholinesterase inhibitor activity also. C Holmes has acted in a consultancy role and has obtained funds for research, and C Ballard has acted in a consultancy role, received fees for speaking and has obtained funds for research, from Novartis, manufacturer of rivastigmine which markets a drug that has inhibitory properties on butyrylcholinesterase.