- •In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we collected the current evidence to evaluate the association between the ApoE genotype and the cognitive outcomes in patients with MS.
- •13 studies were included in our systematic review, and 5 of them were included in the quantitative synthesize.
- •ApoE4 may have a domain-specific association with cognitive impairment in MS patients; so that ApoE4 patients had more delayed responses to stimuli, but the rate of impaired visuospatial perception is lower in these patients.
- •There is a doubt about the clinical significance of the association between ApoE and cognitive outcomes of MS patients.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neuroinflammatory disorder commonly seen in young female adults. Cognitive impairment is one of the widespread symptoms of MS. In recent years multiple studies sought the possible risk factors for MS-related cognitive deficit. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype is one of the genetic factors which correlated significantly with cognitive status and it is a well-known risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we collected the current evidence to evaluate the association between the ApoE genotype and the cognitive outcomes in patients with MS.
Results of searches through Medline via PubMed, Scopus, and ISI web of science, as well as hand searching, were screened in the title/abstract and full-text stages. English observational studies in which the association between ApoE and cognitive outcomes, in patients with MS were included in this systematic review. Animal studies, conference abstracts, reviews, clinical trials, case reports, letters and withdrawn studies, were not included. Risk of bias was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal tools and the meta-analysis was conducted with Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA.2) software. The numbers of patients with impairment in both ApoE4+ and ApoE4- groups were utilized for the calculation of the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and a 0.05 level of significance for p-value.
Out of 224 results of searching, 13 studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in our systematic review, and 5 of them were included in the quantitative synthesis. Eleven studies assessed the cognitive status of patients with MS in two groups of ApoE4+ and ApoE4- while 2 rests, reported the rate of ApoE4+ patients in cognitively impaired and non-impaired groups. The phenotype of MS was only Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in 3 studies and in the other 10 studies, it was a mixture of RRMS, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), and progressive MS. Most of the reports did not find a significant association between ApoE genotype and cognitive outcomes in patients with MS. Contrary to the expectations, patients in ApoE4- group were more likely to have impairment in Judgment of Line Orientation (JLO) (OR: 0.405; 95% CI: 0.173 to 0.949, p-value:0.038), while ApoE4+ patients had more rate of impairment in SRT (OR:1.901; 95%CI: 1.237 to 2.920; p-value:0.003). Appropriate identifying and dealing with cofounding factors were the most common source of bias in our included studies.
ApoE may have a domain-specific association with cognitive impairment in MS patients. ApoE4 patients had more delayed responses to stimuli, but the rate of impaired visuospatial perception is lower in these patients. Based on the current evidence, there is a doubt about the clinical significance of this association.
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Published online: July 02, 2022
Accepted: July 1, 2022
Received in revised form: June 11, 2022
Received: March 24, 2022
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