Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disorder and it is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The disease itself does not actually cause death, however the loss of memory as well as basic motor skills can be fatal.

In some cases Alzheimer’s disease has been found to be linked to a patient’s family history. However research has found that genes do not have any known role in late-onset Alzheimer’s.

Is Alzheimer’s disease heriditary?

The majority of cases of Familial Alzheimer’s disease happen early in life. It is important to note that the majority of Alzheimer’s disease cases occur without any family history or genetic predisposition and if you have a relative who has had Alzheimer’s disease then this does not mean that you are more at risk of developing the disease. However your risk of developing Familial Alzheimer’s disease will increase if you have more than one family member or relative who has the disease.

Geneticists who carry out studies with regard to Alzheimer’s genetics separate cases of Alzheimer’s disease between those that run in families and those which are sporadic and have no genetic component. It is important to point out that sporadic cases are more common and a person will usually develop the disease later in life.

At what age does Alzheimer’s manifest itself?

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease are cases of Alzheimer’s which are diagnosed before an individual reaches the age of 65, these cases are quite rare and have been found to be linked to genetic history. Learn more about the top ten signs of developing Alzheimer’s.

Research has found that around 50 percent of all early-onset Alzheimer’s disease are related to family history. In order to be classed as Familial Alzheimer’s disease then an individual who is diagnosed with Alzheimers would need to have two first-degree relatives who have a history of Alzheimer’s disease. a DNA test can tell you more about your genetic predispostion to Alzheimer’s disease.

What’s the science behind it?

Genetic researchers who carry out studies with regard to Familial Alzheimer’s concentrate on three specific gene variations of a gene which is called apolipoprotein E (APOE). Tests which reveal APOE variations indicate a potential risk for developing Alzheimers.

Research has found that the majority of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease are not actually linked to a genetic predisposition or family history. The biggest risk factor is actually increased age as between the ages of 65 and 80 the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles every 5 years.

Can a genetic predisposition test detect it?

There are genetic tests which can be carried out to screen for the genes which are known to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. These tests may indicate a genetic disposition but this does not mean for sure that a person will actually develop Alzheimer’s disease.