Healthy Living

Growing Closer to a Cure for Alzheimer's

A genetic component?

Not all, but most, cases of early onset Alzheimer’s disease seem to be inherited. Genetics are involved. This causes the disease to be known as familial Alzheimer’s Disease, aka FAD.

Genetic mutations to three chromosomes have been discovered so far, 1, 14, and 21. All of the mutations cause changes in how proteins in your brain develop, such as producing abnormal precursors to the amyloid protein.

Even non-familial Alzheimer’s can have a genetic component. One gene, apolipoprotein E, when in form APOE E4, has been linked to an increase risk of the disease. Other genes, such as ABCA7, have also been discovered to be linked to Alzheimer’s.

While each discovery does not immediately benefit people with the disease, the more we understand how it develops, the more we may know how to combat it.