A Brief Review of Genetic Aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease associated with a loss of memory, judgment, and functioning abilities. Most forms of this disorder appear after 65, although rarer forms can occur during youth. The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. There are many causes of dementia, but Alzheimer’s is the most common. An Alzheimer’s patient may become lost or confused even in familiar surroundings. Routine chores like cooking, cleaning, and laundry can be tedious.
Moreover, recognizing people and naming objects may become more complex. Some people with Alzheimer’s disease experience personality changes and difficulty interacting socially as the disease advances.
Scientists believe Alzheimer’s disease has no single cause but there are likely many factors contributing to it, including genetics, lifestyle, and environment.
We can’t change risk factors like age, family history, and heredity. However, new studies suggest we can alter others.
How Is Alzheimer’s Inherited?
Some genes may increase a person’s chances of developing the disease. Alzheimer’s disease does not necessarily run in families. Genes play a role in disease development in two different manners: risk genes and deterministic genes. In both categories, genetic markers for Alzheimer’s have emerged. There is no known gene responsible for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
- Read More: Everything About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Risk Genes
Having the gene APOE-e4 increases the likelihood of contracting this disease but does not guarantee it.
This risk gene is present in 65% of people with Alzheimer’s. From each parent, we inherit a copy of APOE. The other two are APOE-e2 and APOE-e3.
Alzheimer’s is more likely to develop in individuals who inherit one copy of APOE-e4. There is an even higher probability for those whose parents have two copies, but not a guarantee. APOE-e4 may also accelerate the onset of symptoms.
Some people with APOE-e4 genes may never develop Alzheimer’s, and other people with Alzheimer’s do not even have any APOE-e4 genes.
Alzheimer’s Deterministic Genes
Families with these genes are more likely to suffer from familial early-onset Alzheimer’s in their 40s and 50s as symptoms develop. Alzheimer’s is directly related to these rare genes. A few hundred families worldwide carry a rare gene that causes Alzheimer’s. While hereditary genes associated with familial Alzheimer’s are rare, their discovery has provided critical clues toward understanding the disease.
Is Alzheimer’s Inherited from Mother or Father?
Genes are segments of DNA, and biological parents pass down their genes to their children. Among other things, genes describe specific characteristics such as body type, skin, hair and height. Genes also play a role in the health of our cells.
Several genes may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. However, does dementia come from mothers or fathers? Each parent passes on some form of APOE to us, but Alzheimer’s is more likely to develop in individuals who inherit one copy of APOE-e4.
Genetic Test for Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is among The Most Threatening Mental Disorders In Seniors. Blood testing can identify whether or not a person has a risk factor gene, but it is not a predictor of Alzheimer’s disease. APOE testing identifies individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease in research settings.
Genetic testing is also available for the rare genes directly linked to Alzheimer’s. A genetic test cannot determine a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease; it can only tell us which genes cause the disease. According to researchers, there may be too many factors affecting the disease’s development and progression for genetic testing ever to predict it with 100 percent accuracy.
Scientists do not recommend general population genetic testing. Whether you are worried about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or changes in your memory, it’s best to talk directly to your healthcare provider.
It is unnecessary to have a family history for someone to develop Alzheimer’s; nevertheless, those with more than one first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s disease are at greater risk.
There are many factors contributing to it, including genetics, lifestyle, and environment. There are some risk factors we can’t change, but lifestyle changes can help.