Department of Epidemiology, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Department of Biostatistics, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Correspondence to: Beate Ritz, UCLA, Epidemiology, Box 951772, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Tel.: +1 310 206 7438; Fax: +1 310 206 6039; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstract: Background: Cognitive decline is well recognized in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and a major concern for patients and caregivers. Apolipoprotein E (APOE), catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT), and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) are of interest related to their contributions to cognitive decline or dementia in PD. Objective: Here, we investigate whether APOE, COMT, or MAPT influence the rate of cognitive decline in PD patients. Methods: We relied on 634 PD patients and 879 controls to examine gene-PD susceptibility associations, and nested longitudinal cohort of 246 patients from the case-control study, which followed patients on average 5 years and 7.5 years into disease. We repeatedly assessed cognitive symptom progression with the MMSE and conducted a full neuropsychological battery on a subset of 183 cognitively normal patients. We used repeated-measures regression analyses to assess longitudinal associations between genotypes and cognitive progression scores. Results: The MAPT H1 haplotype was associated with PD susceptibility. APOE 4 carriers (ɛ4+) (p = 0.03) and possibly COMT Met/Met (p = 0.06) carriers exhibited faster annual decline on the MMSE. Additionally, APOE ɛ4+ carriers showed faster decline in many of the neuropsychological test scores. No such differences in neuropsychological outcomes were seen for the COMT genotypes. Conclusion: This work supports a growing set of research identifying overlapping etiology and pathology between synucleinopathies, such as PD, Alzheimer’s disease, and tauopathies, especially in the context of cognitive dysfunction in PD. We provide support for the argument that APOE ɛ4+ and COMT Met/Met genotypes can be used as predictors of faster cognitive decline in PD.