Test Type: Kit based, Buccal Swab


The ApoE gene provides instructions for making a protein called apolipoprotein E. In the brain, ApoE is involved in clearing harmful plaques that form around nerve cells. These plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and consist of damaged proteins called amyloid β which stick together to form the toxic plaques. There are at least three slightly different versions (alleles) of the ApoE gene. The major alleles are called E2, E3, and E4. The most common allele is E3, which is found in more than half of the general population. The E2 form is the most effective at removing Aβ plaque from the brain and subsequently is protective against Alzheimer’s disease. However, the E4 form of the ApoE protein is not very effective at removing Aβ plaque and carries an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

ApoE combines with fats (lipids) in the body to form molecules called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are responsible for packaging cholesterol and other fats and carrying them through the bloodstream. Maintaining normal levels of cholesterol is essential for the prevention of disorders that affect the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular diseases), including heart attack and stroke. The ApoE test report includes results and comments related to both Cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Ideal Candidates are Patients with the Following Symptoms or Conditions

  • Family history of dementia
  • Symptoms of memory loss
  • Pattern of decreasing intellectual ability
  • Reduction in language and speech skills not related to other conditions

Collection Details:

Collection Instructions:

1. Please fill out all sections of the requisition form provided in your kit.

2. Rinse your mouth with cold water before you begin collecting your sample and then swallow to remove excess saliva.

3. Open one swab at a time and collect the sample by rubbing the swab on the inside of your cheek about 20 times or for 15-20 seconds in a circular motion. Swab firmly so that the cheek is pushed outward.

4. Dry the swab by shaking it in the air for 10-20 seconds.

5. Place the dried swab back in its original sleeve.

6. Use the other cheek for the next swabs. Repeat the same process for the rest of the swabs.  Collect sample on all 3 swabs.

6. Place the swab sleeves containing the dry swabs and Requisition Form in the Kashi paper envelope included in the kit.

7. [Important] Sign and fill in your name and date of sample collection on the envelope.


8. Ship the test kit back to the laboratory using the shipping mailer provided.