The prospect of developing Alzheimer’s in the future is almost as upsetting as watching someone you love experience the cognitive changes associated with the disease. When one person in the family is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s natural for other family members to wonder if the disease has a genetic component. It’s known that Alzheimer’s can run in families, and it’s not uncommon to find that several members of a family have the condition. While Alzheimer’s disease can be hereditary, it isn’t quite that simple. Instead, it’s important to take a look at how many different factors influence who eventually develops this condition.
The first thing to do is check into your family’s history to find out when your relatives were diagnosed. This condition is categorized by whether a person has early- or late-onset Alzheimer’s. People who develop symptoms before the age of 65 are considered to have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and your own risk of developing the condition is higher if this was the diagnosis for your relative.
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. New Hampshire 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.
Other Factors that Influence Who Gets Alzheimer’s
Even when Alzheimer’s disease runs in families, it’s difficult to say if the symptoms arose due to genetics or other factors, such as the environment. Families often share many of the factors for Alzheimer’s, such as exposure to chemicals or toxins at home along with similar diet and exercise habits. These could impact the reasons some families have many relatives diagnosed with the disease and other families don’t.
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 home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Challenges Posed by Predictive Genetic Testing
Science has developed a way to assess whether someone has a genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The most common genetic testing involves taking a look at the APOE gene. Depending on which types of the gene you inherited from your mother and father, you may have an increased risk of this condition. Certain types of the APOE gene combination are also associated with having a protective effect against memory loss. However, even people who have a genetically higher risk don’t always develop symptoms. It’s also impossible at this point to say when a person might begin to experience the signs of Alzheimer’s. For this reason, the best recommendation is to do what you can to prevent the condition on your own.
How to Prevent Alzheimer’s with Lifestyle Changes
While genetics may play a role, this is only one of many factors that contribute to who may develop symptoms. You can reduce your Alzheimer’s risk by taking actions that protect your brain health. For instance, protect your head from injuries, and make sure you eat a healthy diet that boosts your cardiovascular system.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. New Hampshire 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. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (603) 471-3004 today.