Eye color and athletic ability aren't the only traits you may inherit from your parents—recent research shows that a resistance to dementia could be hard-wired into some people's DNA.

Doctors are already aware of the genetic components that can increase a person's risk for developing early-onset Alzheimer's disease. But now, scientists from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine believe they have found a link between genes and dementia resistance.

By studying two separate groups of dementia-free seniors researchers found that the chances of an older adult having an immediate family member who suffered from the disease declined by over 30 percent if the elder had high levels of a particular chemical, called C-reactive protein (CRP).

Study authors don't believe that the CRP itself is providing the protective effect, but they hope to be able to use its presence to pick out people who harbor a natural resilience to dementia. Once these people are identified, scientists can then determine which genes bestow the rare gift of dementia defense and discover how to use these genetic factors to help people who don't have a natural buffer against the disease.