Will I inherit Alzheimer's disease if my parent has it?


Scientists don't yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer's disease (AD). There is some concern about the earlier-onset Alzheimer's disease "running in families."

According to the National Institutes of Health, some cases of early-onset AD, called familial AD (FAD), are inherited. FAD is caused by a number of different gene mutations on chromosomes 21, 14, and 1, and each of these mutations causes abnormal proteins to be formed.

Most cases of Alzheimer's are of the late-onset form, developing after age 60. Scientists studying the genetics of AD have found that the mutations seen in early-onset AD are not involved in this form of the disease. Sometimes if a member of the family has the disease, the siblings show a higher risk – but this isn't always true.

Genetic markers have been identified in some which may predispose to this condition, but one clear cause in all Alzheimer's disease sufferers has not been identified. Whether or not Alzheimer's disease is hereditary is not as clear-cut a link as in some diseases, but there does appear to be a pattern in some cases.

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Any experiences with long term care insurance? JEM
Jem07- My mother with Alzheimer's had a long term care policy. But the policy lapsed due to non-payment about eight years ago. This was when she was in the early stages and nobody was tracking what she was doing. We now know that she was making many decisions that she would not have made a few years earlier. This does bring up the question though, how often do companies make substantial profits on long-term care policies that lapse due to bad decision making by those covered? If you choose to purchase a long-term care policy, you should definitely make a family member aware of it so that premiums are paid. Of course, once my mother's policy lapsed, the company would not reinstate it. The non-payment was not discovered by family members until nine months later.