Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype and aerobic fitness are each associated with cognitive performance in older adults. However, their potentially interactive effects on cognitive performance have not been examined.Purpose:
The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether ApoE genotype and aerobic fitness interact to uniquely impact memory performance and executive functioning. A secondary purpose was to examine the interactive effects on other measures of cognition to provide a more comprehensive assessment of cognitive abilities across a broad range of functions.Methods:
Community-dwelling, cognitively normal older women (N = 90) provided blood samples to allow for assessment of ApoE genotype, completed cognitive tests, and performed a maximal aerobic fitness test. Primary outcome variables were the auditory verbal learning test (AVLT), the complex figures test (CFT), and the Wisconsin card-sorting task (WCST). Secondary outcome variables were the block design test and the paced auditory serial addition task (PASAT).Results:
Regression analyses indicated that aerobic fitness was associated with significantly better performance on measures of the AVLT, the CFT, and the PASAT for the ApoE-ε4 homozygotes.Conclusion:
The preliminary findings from this study support the possibility that aerobic fitness is positively associated with the memory performance of those individuals at most genetic risk for Alzheimer disease.