Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) is the strongest genetic risk factor for late onset Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and is associated with impairments in cerebral metabolism and cerebrovascular function. A substantial body of literature now points to E4 as a driver of multiple impairments seen in AD, including blunted brain insulin signaling, mismanagement of brain cholesterol and fatty acids, reductions in blood brain barrier (BBB) integrity, and decreased cerebral glucose uptake. Various neuroimaging techniques, in particular positron emission topography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have been instrumental in characterizing these metabolic and vascular deficits associated with this important AD risk factor. In the current mini-review article, we summarize the known effects of APOE on cerebral metabolism and cerebrovascular function, with a special emphasis on recent findings via neuroimaging approaches.

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Published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, v. 10, 180, p. 1-8.

© 2018 Brandon, Farmer, Williams and Johnson.

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This work was supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Grant No. P20GM103527.