Alzheimer's and Dementia Counseling and Education:
call Cindy Keith of M.I.N.D. in Memory Care at (814)-235-0691, or e-mail at keithc@mindinmemorycare.com

M.I.N.D. in Memory Care

Mind in Memory Care

Moving In Nurturing Directions
in Memory Care

Dementia Information

Monday, June 13, 2011



So many people in my audiences ask me some variation of this question: "What are my chances of inheriting Alzheimer's if my father and his father both had it?" There is not a quick, cut and dried answer to that question because there are many factors that come into play. First of all, how do they know for sure those relatives actually had Alzheimer's? Did they perform brain biopsies after death? They could have just as easily suffered from multi-infarct dementia from strokes in the brain. Secondly, even though you can inherit the genes for Alzheimer's, it's not a given that you will actually express those genes. There is an inherited form of Alzheimer's but it's actually quite rare. I'm talking about the "early-onset" version of Alzheimer's that strikes in people between the ages of 30-60 who have inherited those specific genes and will have a 50-50 chance of developing Alzheimer's. Only about 5% of all people with Alzheimer's actually "inherited" it in this manner. In "late-onset" Alzheimer's, symptoms begin to appear after the age of 60 and age is actually the biggest risk factor here. After age 85, chances are almost 1 in 2 for getting Alzheimer's.
Even if you inherit the genes, and are over age 60, there is much you can do to avoid getting any type of dementia. Anything that decreases blood or oxygen supply to your brain will increase your chances of getting a type of dementia, including Alzheimer's. Diseases or disorders such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol/triglycerides, high, chronic stress levels, high blood pressure. All of these will restrict blood and oxygen flow to your brain on a regular basis and this is shown to greatly increase your chances of developing a dementia. It might not be Alzheimer's--it might be multi-farct or vascular dementia from strokes in the brain. We tend to forget that there are other types of dementia out there--but dementia is dementia, and it's progressive and fatal. So, avoiding all those diseases or disorders, having a regular exercise regimen to keep that blood pumping up the to brain, and keeping that brain active and stimulated will greatly decrease your chances of getting a type of dementia.
I recently came across a study in Medical News Today (www.medicalnewstoday.com) entitled "Weight Loss After Gastric Bypass Surgery Reduces Expression of Alzheimer's Genes." It's talking about what I just mentioned above--reducing the risk of obesity--in this case via gastric bypass surgery--was found to decrease expression of the genes known to be linked to Alzheimer's.
Use that fear you might have to draw that line in the sand and motivate you to do everything you can to reduce your chances for getting any type of dementia. Every little thing you do to improve your health will help.
Good luck to you as you begin TODAY to better care for your brain and your body!

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS,
Certified Dementia Practitioner

Nationally Known Speaker
On Dementia and Alzheimer's Care

Phone 814-235-0691

Fax 814-235-0695




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