Neurologist Questions Alzheimer's Disease

Is Alzheimer's a hereditary disease?

My father in law suffered with Alzheimer's disease for the last 10 years of his life. Is it a hereditary disease? Will my husband suffer from it too?

6 Answers

Yes, in some.
There are many genes that are thought to be "propensity" genes. However, familial AD is not common and occurs in about 10% of patients.
Although the exact mode of inheritance for Alzheimer's disease is not fully established, this disease has a tendency to run in families. However, there are family clusters of autosomal dominant family pedigrees where most family members are affected. Fortunately, this type is rare.


Mohammad Reza Bolouri, MD
Alzheimers disease is usually acquired and not inherited. There are cases with an inherited component but these tend to come earlier in life. To answer your question, if your father in law was over 50 at the time of onset, it is unlikely to have an inherited component. You also need to be sure the diagnosis was confirmed and not "just Likely".
In some cases it can be, but most times it's not.
There is a genetic component to nearly all diseases. Our coding may represent a hereditary factor, but does not necessarily guarantee actually acquiring the problem.