5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s and that number is predicted to almost triple in the next thirty years. Given that the disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the US, we all have reason to be scared.
If you have a parent or grandparents suffering from the disease, it’s understandable that you might have a big question. Is Alzheimer’s hereditary?
We’re taking a look into that question in this article as well as looking at ways of preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Read on to get clued up about this tragic illness.
Is Alzheimer’s Hereditary?
Alzheimer’s disease prevention has been a huge area of research for many years along with scientists trying to work out what causes it.
The disease is still far from being fully understood but hopes are high that there’ll be more answers in the coming decade.
Researchers believe that a variety of factors could be responsible for the onset of Alzheimer’s. One of these is a hereditary aspect.
Scientists have discovered that your risk of Alzheimer’s increases if you have a parent or sibling with the disease. But that’s not to say you will get it as well. Research is still ongoing to uncover how big a risk this hereditary factor is.
Is Alzheimer’s Passed Down In Your Genes?
There are two types of genes that indicate whether someone will get a disease; a risk gene and a deterministic gene.
Simply put, a risk gene increases that person’s risk of getting the disease. This doesn’t mean they will get it, just that their risk is higher than someone without that gene.
A deterministic gene means that the person who has it will get the disease.
Researchers have discovered risk genes for Alzheimer’s as well as an exceptionally rare deterministic gene. This gene is so rare is only seen in less than 1% of global Alzheimer’s cases.
Do You Know Someone Suffering from Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s doesn’t just affect the patient but also their family and friends. It’s understandable that you would want to know how you can help.
Scientists have been studying ways to help Alzheimer’s patients and a popular method, rolled out in care homes, is music. As listening to music uses a part of the brain unaffected by the disease, playing music has been shown to soothe Alzheimers patients.
What Are the Other Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s?
You can’t do anything about your genes but it’s good to know about other risk factors, some of which you can control.
Alzheimer’s primarily affects those over 65. It’s rare, but not unheard of for it to develop from 40.
It’s suggested that poor cardiovascular health (heart and blood vessels) is a contributing factor in the development of Alzheimer’s. To keep your heart and brain in good shape, leading a healthy life and keeping your cholesterol levels down is a good move.
Smoking, diabetes, obesity, and poor diet have all been linked with an increased risk of the disease. Reducing these could be a good thing for Alzheimer’s disease prevention.
The Future of Alzheimer’s
So is Alzheimer’s hereditary? Yes, there are indications that children or siblings of Alzheimer’s sufferers have a higher risk. But leading a healthy, active life is currently the best method of prevention. With so much study on the disease, more understanding will come to light in the future on how to fight it.
Follow us for more updates and articles about health.