Alzheimer's: Does family history guarantee you'll get it?
Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million Americans and that's not counting all the family members, friends and caregivers who feel the impact. When it comes to what causes the condition I got this question from @Jimmylawren1967 on Twitter:
"My mother had Azheimer's. Is it inherited parents to children or parents to grandchildren? I am concerned."
-Johnny in the Philippines
Alzheimer's disease can be a devastating diagnosis and causes patients to lose their memory. Symptoms vary but include forgetfulness, disorientation, difficulty making decisions and trouble performing familiar tasks.
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Many factors can contribute to Alzheimer's disease like lifestyle and environment. The rate of dementia increases once a person reaches age 65.
Genetics also play a role, but account for less than five percent of diagnosed cases. You're at higher risk if you have a first-degree relative with the disease, like a parent or sibling, but most of these connections are still unknown.
There's a blood test to identify a gene associated with Alzheimer's but the results can't predict whether or not you'll develop the disease. Researchers say genetic testing probably won't be able to predict the disease because there are too many other factors at play...
There are some ways to help ward off the disease including getting regular exercise, not smoking, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol and eating a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Do you have a health question? Send a tweet to @DrMannyonFOX