Evolutionary Selection of APOE 4
Encourages Increased Focus on Immunity in
Alzheimer’s Disease

By: Christopher J. Wheeler

Abstract. Smith and Ashford present a compelling hypothesis on evolution of APOE alleles, namely that 4 prevalence is mediated by immune selection pressure against enteric pathogens. While the 3 allele is more prevalent today, it outcompeted 4 only relatively recently, as immune selection pressure for more effective immune responses to such pathogens was alleviated with transition to agrarian from hunter- gatherer lifestyles. Smith and Ashford’s hypothesis is intriguing in itself, but the implications for APOE 4 function in Alzheimer’s disease are even more so and encourage greater focus on specific aspects of immunity in accounting for both 4-mediated and general Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Click here to read the full article -> ImmunityAndAlzheimersCW7.20.23