• The Clinical Phenotype of An Extended Pedigree with Late-onset Alzheimer's Disease

      Fennell, Eleanor M.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2009-03)
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease with a multifaceted etiology. This retrospective exploratory study used the family history method to develop a phenotype based on the personal history of cognitive decline, changes in behavioral characteristics, and the medical, social and environmental history of the five AD affected family members in one large extended family. Group family interviews provided a description of the phenotype and identified medical and environmental risk modifiers. Average age-of-onset for AD in 5 of 12 siblings, (all homozygous APOE4/4) was 69.2 years (range 66-72 years). Fisher's exact test identified neuropsychiatric behaviors as common phenotypic manifestations; delusions (p = 0.0455), hallucinations (p = 0.0101), irritability (p = 0.0455), personality change (p = 0.0013), pacing (p = 0.0013), aggressiveness (p = 0.0455), and poor judgment (p = 0.0013). Environmental variables that emerged as significant were a less than an eighth grade education (p — 0.0152), presence of stroke/TIA (p = 0.0455), presence of osteoarthritis (p = 0.0455), and vitamin B12 deficiency (p = 0.0013). Risk of stroke/TIA may be related to the increased risk from APOE4 while vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with advanced age. There was no significant protective benefit from the management of hypertension (p = 0.5758), use of statins to control cholesterol (p = 0.9545), use of Vitamin C (p = 1.000), and/or Vitamin E (p = 0.9899) among family members. Potential modifiable health practices among the AD unaffected siblings demonstrated that 85% continued to engage in a sedentary lifestyle (p = 0.6818), 57% were overweight (p = 0.6894), 57% (p = 0.6894) consumed an unhealthy diet, and 56% smoked (p = 0.1591). Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarray Clinical Phenotype of Alzheimer's Disease analysis indicated that several SNPs in the gene, transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily C, member 4 associated protein, (TRPC4AP), were significant. All five of the affected siblings and three unaffected siblings exhibited one haplotype; the unaffected siblings with the same haplotype as affected siblings were younger in age and did not have any cognitive problems at the time of the study (Poduslo, Huang, Huang, Smith, 2008).