If a parent has Alzheimer’s, are her children destined to get it too?

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The most common question I get asked is ‘Will my child get Alzheimer’s disease?’

Those of us who are concerned that they may be at risk from familial Alzheimer’s disease can get a definitive answer through one of the many genetic tests available. 

A single copy of the mutated gene inherited from an affected parent will ultimately cause disease, with symptoms likely to be noticed before the age of 65 and typically between 30 and 60 years of age. 


Anyone concerned that they may suffer from this form of Alzheimer’s should seek a referral to a genetic counselor.

Fortunately, families with a familial form of disease represent less than 1 per cent of all families afflicted by this debilitating disease. 

For the remaining Alzheimer’s disease families, the answer as to the inheritance of disease is much less clear, and disease onset is certainly not inevitable.

The genetics of non-familial Alzheimer’s is complex: we know that nearly thirty genes, common in the general population, influence disease risk, with potentially hundreds more involved.


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: If you get Alzheimer’s, will your children get it too? Neuroscientist tackles the one thing every patient fears

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