Safety and Tolerability of APOE Genotyping and Disclosure in Cognitively Normal Volunteers From the Butler Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry

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Aims: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a gradually progressive neurodegenerative disease that ultimately results in total loss of cognitive and functional independence in older adults. This study aimed to examine the safety and tolerability of APOE disclosure in community-dwelling, cognitively normal (CN) older adults from the Butler Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry (BAPR), and to determine whether APOE disclosure impacted participant’s decisions to participate in AD clinical research. Methods: 186 (N = 106 ∊4 non-carriers, 80 ∊4 carriers) CN older adults aged 58-78 from the BAPR completed 2 visits: one for psychological readiness screening and genotyping and one for APOE disclosure. Online follow-ups were completed 3 days, 6 weeks, and 6 months post-disclosure. Primary outcomes were scores on self-report measures of depression, anxiety, impact of events, and perceived risk of AD, along with enrollment in AD clinical trials. Results: ∊4 carriers and non-carriers did not differ significantly on measures of depression, anxiety, or suicidal ideation over the 6-month follow-up period. ∊4 carriers reported higher impact of disclosure than non-carriers immediately after disclosure, but both groups’ scores on impact of events measures remained sub-clinical. ∊4 carriers and non-carriers were equally likely to participate in AD research after disclosure, with genotype-dependent differences in type of clinical trial enrollment. Conclusions: APOE genotyping and disclosure was safe and well tolerated in a group of CN, community-dwelling older adults, who were pre-screened after volunteering for AD research through BAPR. Implications for the inclusion of APOE genotyping and disclosure at AD clinical trial sites are discussed.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology