Will I Inherit My Father’s Alzheimer’s Disease?
If your aging parent or senior family member lives with Alzheimer’s, you know firsthand how devastating the disease can be. It’s probably led you to wonder if you are next. Does having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease increase your risk for developing it?
The link between genetics and Alzheimer’s isn’t clear, but some research seems to indicate having a parent or a sibling who has the disease may put you at greater risk.
Is Alzheimer’s Disease Hereditary?
Part of the frustration in knowing what does and doesn’t contribute to Alzheimer’s disease is that we still know so little about what causes some people to develop the disease and others not to. Many Alzheimer’s researchers believe genetics can increase your risk by as much as 30%. The good news is that the older your family member was when they were diagnosed, the lower your risk for developing it.
Alzheimer’s Risk Factors
Age is the leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s. After the age of 65, the risk for developing the disease doubles every five years. There are other preventable factors that researchers believe contribute to Alzheimer’s. They include:
- High fat diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Isolation and lack of engagement with others
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Each of these is believed to contribute to the plaques in the brain that are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.