HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.
Speaker at International Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Conference 2022 - Chun Xu
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, United States
Title : APOE gene associated with dementia related disorders and neuropsychiatric related phenotypes in the Hispanic/Latino population


Alzheimer's disease (AD), a main cause of dementia is known to have a strong genetic component to its development and is often comorbid with neuropsychiatric conditions. In addition, certain neuropsychiatric disorders are considered as early indicators of AD and present when there are cognitive problems that may lead to AD mainly reported in non-Hispanic/Latino populations. Therefore, we focused on investigating a known AD-related gene, APOE and social-demographic factors in associations with AD and two psychiatric diseases (depression and anxiety) in the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population.

A total of 1,382 subjects were collected from the Texas Alzheimer's Research and Care Consortium (TARCC, N=1,320) and the Initial Study of Longevity and Dementia from the Rio Grande Valley (ISLD-RGV, N=62). Questionnaires for demographics, medical history, and blood/saliva samples were collected. We genotyped the APOE gene. From the three APOE alleles, ε3 (90%), ε4 (21%), and ε2 (6%), APOE-ε4 showed significant association with AD (p<0.0001) in the Hispanic population. In addition, APOE ε4 allele was o associated with anxiety (p<0.0001), while APOE-ε3 showed an association with depression (p=0.002). In conclusion, we provide additional evidence in which APOE-ε4 increased the risk for AD in Hispanics. For the first time, APOE-ε4 and ε3 alleles show increased risks for anxiety and depression in Hispanics, respectively. Further research is warranted to confirm the current findings.

Future directions: in addition to genetic factors, poor lifestyle and cultural values have also been suggested to increase risk for cognitive impairment, like AD, which is our ongoing study.

What will audience learn from your presentation?

  • The purpose of this study is to explore if Alzheimer’s disease (AD) related APOE gene and certain social-demographic factors have associations with AD and two psychiatric diseases (depression and anxiety) in the US Hispanic/Latino population
  • The audience, for an example, for lay population, will be able to learn basic knowledge on AD related APOE gene involved in AD and psychiatric disorders. They may apply this knowledge in their daily life, and/or if they apply for jobs like genetic counselling or medical assistant.
  • For faculty, they will advance the knowledge on how known AD associated gene involved in cognitive decline, AD or certain psychiatric diseases in their research and teaching. Specifically for clinic faculty, they can use the knowledge in their clinical practice such as to check if patients or family members carry AD-associated APOE e4 allele
  • For graduate or undergraduate students, they will learn knowledge how genetics and non-genetic factors involved in disease development. 


Dr. Chun Xu received her MD, MSc from Harbin Medical School, and received her PhD degree from Karolinska Institute at Stockholm, Sweden. At present, she is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Dr. Xu is an educator, research scientist and is responsible for education, translational research on biomarker identification for human complex traits (e.g., neuropsychiatric disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and treatment responses. Recently, she applied cutting-edge technologies for meaningful biomarker discovery for diseases and treatment responses. Aabove key findings have been published and presented at national/international conferences. She published over 70 peer-reviewed papers.