Rate of progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease: effect of butyrylcholinesterase K gene variation.
Holmes C., Ballard C., Lehmann D., David Smith A., Beaumont H., Day IN., Nadeem Khan M., Lovestone S., McCulley M., Morris CM., Munoz DG., O'Brien K., Russ C., Del Ser T., Warden D.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the K variant allele of butyrylcholinesterase have a slower rate of cognitive decline than those without the K variant allele of butyrylcholinesterase. METHOD: The cognitive status of 339 community based subjects with AD was assessed with the Mini Mental State Examination at baseline and yearly over a three year follow up period. The rates of cognitive decline of subjects with and without the K variant allele were compared. RESULT: Presence of the K allele was associated with a slower average rate of cognitive decline in subjects with severe AD. CONCLUSIONS: This finding is consistent with the suggestion that the K variant of butyrylcholinesterase has an important role in disease progression in AD, and this may have implications for treatment.