Tuesday, July 11, 2023

how do genetics and family history contribute to Alzheimer's risk?

 Genetics and family history are important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.

Genetic Factors

Less than 5% of Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a single genetic mutation that is transmitted through families. This form of Alzheimer's is called early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease (EOFAD), and it is caused by mutations in one of three genes: Presenilin 1 (PS1), Presenilin 2 (PS2), and Amyloid precursor protein (APP). A mutation in any of these three genes follows an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. This means that if a parent has a mutation in one of the EOFAD genes, each child has a 50% chance to inherit the same mutation
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In addition to these rare mutations, there are other variants in genes that can increase or decrease susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease but do not cause the disease. An example is the apolipoprotein (APOE) gene. APOE is found in all humans and provides instructions for making a protein that helps carry cholesterol and other fats in the bloodstream. There are three common forms of the APOE gene: APOE2, APOE3, and APOE4. Having one copy of the APOE4 gene increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, while having two copies of the gene greatly increases the risk
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Family History

Family history is another important risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Those who have a parent, brother, or sister with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease. The risk increases if more than one family member has the illness. When diseases tend to run in families, either heredity (genetics), environmental factors, or both, may play a role. Studies of family history say that if you have a close relative who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, your risk increases by about 30%. This is a relative risk increase, meaning a 30% hike in your existing risk. Age raises the chance of Alzheimer's more than family history. People in their 70s have a 5% chance of being diagnosed—more than twice that of people in their 60s. Family history raises this by 30%, from 5% to 6.5%. Again, the absolute change is relatively small
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Treatment

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are treatments that may change disease progression, and drug and non-drug options that may help treat symptoms. Several prescription drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help manage symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s, and other medications have recently emerged to treat the progression of the disease. Most FDA-approved drugs work best for people in the early or middle stages of Alzheimer’s. There are currently no known interventions that will cure Alzheimer’s. Clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease treatments are ongoing
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Caring for an Alzheimer's Patient

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can be challenging. It's important to educate yourself about the disease and seek support from family, friends, and community resources. The Alzheimer's Association provides a range of resources and support services for caregivers, including support groups, educational programs, and a 24/7 helpline
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In conclusion, genetics and family history are important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. While there are no known interventions that will cure Alzheimer's, there are treatments that may change disease progression and drug and non-drug options that may help treat symptoms. It's important to educate yourself about the disease and seek support from family, friends, and community resources if you are caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease

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