• Apolipoprotein E;
  • Genetics;
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

Summary: Purpose: To evaluate whether the inheritance of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 allele is a risk factor for nonlesional temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), and to determine whether the newly described -491 A/T ApoE polymorphism may independently affect the risk of nonlesional TLE.

Methods: The study group consisted of 63 patients (35 women and 28 men; age at onset of epilepsy, 30.6 ± 19.6 years; mean (±SD). All of them had received a diagnosis of nonlesional TLE after a detailed clinical, electroencephalographic, and brain magnetic resonance investigation. The ApoE polymorphisms were determined from blood samples by standard methods. The molecular study also was performed in 220 age- and sex-matched normal individuals.

Results: There were no differences between TLE patients and controls in either allelic or genotypic frequencies of the ApoE and -491 A/T polymorphisms. Moreover, no effect of ApoE or -491 A/T polymorphisms was found on the age at onset and severity of epilepsy.

Conclusions: The allelic and genotypic frequencies of ApoE polymorphisms in Italian patients with nonlesional TLE are comparable to control values, indicating that ApoE polymorphisms are not a significant genetic risk factor for the occurrence of nonlesional TLE.