Dementia in Swedish Twins: Predicting Incident Cases

Gatz, Margaret; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Finkel, Deborah; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Walters, Ellen
November 2010
Behavior Genetics;Nov2010, Vol. 40 Issue 6, p768
Academic Journal
Thirty same-sex twin pairs were identified in which both members were assessed at baseline and one twin subsequently developed dementia, at least 3 years subsequent to the baseline measurement, while the partner remained cognitively intact for at least three additional years. Eighteen of the 30 cases were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Baseline assessments, conducted when twins' average age was 70.6 (SD = 6.8), included a mailed questionnaire and in-person testing. Which twin would develop dementia was predicted by less favorable lipid values (higher apoB, ratio of apoB to apoA1, and total cholesterol), poorer grip strength, and-to a lesser extent-higher emotionality on the EAS Temperament Scale. Given the long preclinical period that characterizes Alzheimer's disease, these findings may suggest late life risk factors for dementia, or may reflect changes that are part of preclinical disease.


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