Unfortunately, if a person inherits the gene mutations, oftentimes, they eventually develop the condition. Having family members with the condition do not necessarily mean that another member will develop the condition.
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative condition. This is especially true since early-onset Alzheimer’s is sometimes an inherited disorder where a child has a 50/50 likelihood of having the condition if either parent has genetic mutations causing the disease.
Most Cases of Alzheimer’s Are Not Inherited
The good news is that most cases of Alzheimer’s are not inherited. Yes, there is a gene that can affect the risk of inheriting Alzheimer’s. This gene is called Apolipoprotein E or ApoE, and it has three main types. One of these types, ApoE4, is what is most likely to cause Alzheimer’s disease. The presence of the protein does not cause the disease, but it increases the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.
More encouraging statistics show that only 50% of people with Alzheimer’s disease have ApoE4, and in addition, not everyone with ApoE4 suffers from it. So don’t worry if you have family members who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The odds of not developing Alzheimer’s are in your favor.
Scientists will tell you that Alzheimer’s is not usually hereditary. The cause may not be known, but 99% of Alzheimer’s cases are not caused by genes inherited from parents.
Unfortunately, if you inherit the protein that causes Alzheimer’s, it will not skip you. You will eventually develop the condition, and that will be it. Hopefully, the cause and cure for the disease will be discovered so that people no longer have to live in fear of developing the condition.