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Is Alzheimer’s Disease Hereditary?

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A large number of seniors have family members who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so they live in fear, wondering if the disease is hereditary. The short answer is “yes.” However, although this form of dementia runs in some families, there’s no guarantee the disease will develop in every family member. Read on to learn about Alzheimer’s, how it impacts families, and what can be done to prevent the disease.

Causes

The causes and effects of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person. Some seniors develop the disease and live independently for decades, but the condition can progress at faster speeds for other seniors. The top causes of Alzheimer’s disease are lifestyle habits, environmental factors, and genetics. Another factor is aging, which is why many aging adults are diagnosed with the disease each year. There’s currently no cure for this progressive disorder, but there are steps seniors can take to reduce many of its symptoms.

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. West Hartford Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives.

Genetic Testing

To better understand how your family’s medical history impacts your senior loved one, you should take him or her to the doctor for testing. Your loved one’s physician will look at variants of the APOE gene. In some instances, inheriting the APOE 2 gene from both parents could protect your loved one’s brain. However, if your loved one has inherited the APOE 4 gene from his or her parents, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases. Keep in mind that genetic testing doesn’t guarantee your parent will or won’t develop Alzheimer’s. The objective of the examination is to reveal what risk he or she has, if any.

Age at Onset

Most hereditary cases are related to early-onset Alzheimer’s, which means seniors develop the disease before the age of 65. Although these cases are often due to genetics, the number of seniors diagnosed is significantly low. Late-onset dementia is one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of Alzheimer’s disease. However, late-onset dementia is less hereditary than early-onset Alzheimer’s. To learn more about these conditions and access variations in percentages, your loved one should speak with his or her primary care physician.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Prevention

Even if Alzheimer’s runs in your family, it doesn’t automatically mean any of your family members will develop the condition. There are lifestyle choices you can make to lower the risk, such as eating healthy foods, getting plenty of exercise, managing your stress levels, and staying socially active. Seniors who keep their brains actively engaged can prevent neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s. To stave off the disease, aging adults should also stop smoking and drinking or choose alcoholic beverages such as wine and limit their intake to one glass per day. These positive wellness steps could boost your parent’s health and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s as well as other conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. West Hartford, CT, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (860) 372.4500 to learn more about our customized Alzheimer’s care plans.