Alzheimer’s & Genetic Testing

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Alzheimer’s & Genetic Testing

Meet “the Alzheimer’s gene” — a piece of DNA that could determine your future.

Is Alzheimer’s genetic? The short answer is: It’s complicated! There are dozens of genes that have been linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk. Some of these genes have just a tiny bit of influence over a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s; others have quite a lot. One particular gene variant, called APOE4, has accrued a reputation as “the Alzheimer’s gene.”

“If I have the Alzheimer’s gene, will I eventually develop Alzheimer’s?”

We have good news: Carriers of this “Alzheimer’s gene” don’t always develop the disease. The more you know about the risk,  the better equipped you are to make lifestyle modifications that can stave off Alzheimer’s or its symptoms.

Alzheimer’s & Genetic Testing

Meet “the Alzheimer’s gene” — a piece of DNA that could determine your future.

Is Alzheimer’s genetic? The short answer is: It’s complicated! There are dozens of genes that have been linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk. Some of these genes have just a tiny bit of influence over a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s; others have quite a lot. One particular gene variant, called APOE4, has accrued a reputation as “the Alzheimer’s gene.”

“If I have the Alzheimer’s gene, will I eventually develop Alzheimer’s?”

We have good news: Carriers of this “Alzheimer’s gene” don’t always develop the disease. The more you know about the risk,  the better equipped you are to make lifestyle modifications that can stave off Alzheimer’s or its symptoms.

With input from genetic experts and widely respected Alzheimer's researchers, the Being Patient editorial team has assembled this guide to answer your questions about Alzheimer's and cognitive decline, genetic and familial Alzheimer's risk factors, and the pros and cons of genetic testing.

In this guide, you will learn:

  • What kinds of Alzheimer’s are hereditary?
  • How does family history factor into Alzheimer’s risk?
  • What is the APOE gene — and what does it mean for your cognitive health?
  • Are there genes out there that “guarantee” you’ll one day get Alzheimer’s?
  • What is genetic testing — and should you get genetic testing for Alzheimer’s genetic risk factors?
  • What can do if you’re positive for an Alzheimer’s-linked gene mutation?
  • What steps can you take to protect your brain health, no matter your level of genetic risk?
  • and more