Genetic factors for inter-individual variation in cognition have been arousing great interest among researchers. Among the many associated genes, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and apolipoprotein E (APOE), as two of the most frequently studied, might be good prospects for cognitive genetics. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate both the isolated and cooperative effect of BDNF and APOE on normal cognitive ageing. A homogeneous population of Chinese aged males (N=161) were genotyped for functional genetic variants of BDNF (BDNF-G196A) and APOE (APOE-epsilon4) and assessed by a comprehensive neuropsychological measurement (Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument Chinese version; CASI C-2.0). Thereafter genotypic group differences of BDNF and APOE in CASI cognitive profiles were tested. Results from the present study suggest the possible influence of APOE on specific cognitive domains (CASI orientation and language domains; p=0.010 and 0.028, respectively), whereas there was no significant role of BDNF, either solely or with APOE, in cognition in the elderly. Our findings suggest a possible association between APOE-epsilon4 and specific cognitive domains in the aged male, whereas the functional genetic variant of BDNF (BDNF-G196A) played no significant role in normal cognitive ageing.