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I suppose I don't have to tell anyone here that caring for my 80 year old mom with AD is consuming. I've educated myself about the disease and how to care for her. I'm 50 and don't have any obvious signs, but at times I worry. My husband's father was diagnosed at 78, but died of unrelated issues & I worry for him also. Both our parents were avid readers, did crossword puzzles, took care of their health and didn't have any risk factors. Yikes.

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Let me add that since worrying is a negative force, I try not to engage in it. I'm proactive in lieu of reactive in seeing my doctors and then I give it to our Heavenly FATHER.
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cajohnston, only early onset is hereditary. (Onset before age 70.)
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Hi Ginger, I do worry but not too much. I am 62 and about 2001 was diagnosed with a form of pre-senile 'dementia'. I had SPEC and PET scans done on my brain and found that I have 4 areas of my brain that no longer process sugar (so 'dead spots')...I have had severe migraines since I was 4 years old and my neurologist is thinking that they may have caused the damage. Two of the spots are on my frontal lobes and my entire personality changed! I went from a hard charging type A to calm, not too bright, very docile, easily-led personality. I have blackouts where time has passed and I am unaware of what has happened unless someone tells me. It can happen at anytime, even I'm not sure what has happened....I cannot count backwards from 100 by 7 or 9. BUT it appears to be stable now. I have to admit that I grieved the loss of my job and my intelligence for a long time. NOT anymore, I like me and as long as I don't get much worse I should be OK. But I have told my children if I get really bad to put me in a home and not feel guilty! I really won't know and I spent years with my dad taking care of my mom with Alz. and I would never want my children to go through that!
Blessings, Lindaz
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Absolutely! My wife and I have been caring for my mother for almost 2 years at our house. She has AL/D. I am only 55, which I believe is much too young for Alzheimer's but this past year or so I find myself having similar memory and depression issues as my Mother and it scares the s**t out of me!
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No, I don't worry. I used to worry more about disease possibilities when I was younger, say, 50s, but now I am 80 and didn't get any of the things I worried about. Somewhere in between I stopped worrying, as it only makes it more likely that the stress of worry will affect your health negatively. Father died of VaD in his early 80s, mother has VaD final stage, but is 105 and still going. One day we all will die - that is guaranteed. I do what I can to live a healthy lifestyle.
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Some kinds of dementia have a hereditary component. I think this is especially true of early-onset dementia (starts before age 65). But even when that is the case, we don't inherit all characteristics from both parents, so it is not certain that we'd have the genetic makeup for dementia even if one of them did.

I worried after my husband died of dementia. My memory was shot. I tried paying for my groceries with my library card. I did many weird things that scared me. A psychologist and a psychiatrist each assured me while this form of mourning was not common it was perfectly legitimate. I expected my emotions to be all over the place. Instead I was emotionally calm but cognitively very confused. And it did clear up.
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Yes, I always worry that. In fact I repeat five words they told my sister when she was being tested for it (she passed by the way) church, red, face, velvet and daisy. I constantly worry I am getting it as I am primary caregiver for my mom. I was told it was hereditary. Is that true?
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FelicityB I love your post! Everyone on here can learn something from it. I posted earlier telling others to look up Dr. Perlmutter but you spelled so much out. Your philosophy is the same as mine...I'm not going down without a fight!
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Answer=A friend, whose mother died of Alzheimer's said "The one thing I don't want to lose is my brain function."
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States where Medical Assisted Suicide is legal are
California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Montana, Vermont, Washington.
There are some odd conditions that I have read in some states. For example when you see the Doctor and express your wishes to be able to terminate your life they can give you a prescription for medication that will end your life but if you reach the point where you can not administer the medication yourself someone else can not give you the medication.
I am sure that some of these regulations will change.
And there is a distinct difference between Medically Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. The Medically Assisted Suicide the person administers medication and in the case of Euthanasia medication is administered by someone else.
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I'm 85 and my mother died at 85 with dementia. My doctor told me when I was 45 that we'd all have memory problems if we lived long enough. Some believe we' re close to treatment. I hope so but the government will have to get more interested in health to fund research than it is to walls for that to happen. I try to remember to be grateful for many years of good health when I forget a  name or simple equation. Worry is like investing in something that you know will fail because nature will do what it does. Splurge on a good meal, go dancing, help someone, make a time or money donation and be grateful for the day. Now is the only time we have.
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I took an online quiz the other day and based on current info, I'm predicted to live to age 90! However, it didn't say what my mental state might be. That's the issue. I don't want a long life if I'm not mentally competent. Alzheimers doesn't run in my family, but, you never know. Dementia could come from another cause.  I fear Vascular, because that's what my LO has, but, I do stay extra diligent on my health and nutrition, which she never did.  I hope it makes a difference. 
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I just finished reading two very good books - Memory Rescue by Daniel Amen; and Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory by Andrew E. Budson, MD and Maureen K. O'Connor, Psy.D. Both talk about the risk factors -- one being heredity. I would highly recommend them.
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I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t have some genetic health issues to worry about. My dad had heart issues and stenosis, Mom had Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, Macular degeneration, arthritis, polymyalgia rhuematica and cataracts and the more I think about it, I think she had some mental issues beyond Alzheimer’s as well.. Grandma had a predisposition for blood clots and died of a stroke. Grandpa probably had PTSD and after contracting prostate cancer, he committed suicide.

I am my bedridden husband’s sole caregiver. I handle the finances and the household responsibilities. He has many health issues for me to worry about. I worry that I will stroke out or have a heart attack from the incredible stress in my life. Yikes!

I see my physician regularly. I try to eat healthy and occasionally take time just for me. I do all I can NOT to worry. There aren’t enough hours in the day! Take good care of yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff. One day at a time.
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I am extremely concerned because it runs in the family as does dementia.

I have become more concerned since the medications I must take to help get me through the day for fibromyalgia also effect memory.

Before these medications, family members would call me to get the answer to a discussion or debate they were having with friends.

My memory with faces, names, political figures and just history itself is no longer what it was.

I become frustrated with myself because I can open the file drawers in my brain, but I don't always find the correct file.

Trivial Pursuit (the original game) has always been my favorite; so much so that my husband refused to play as an opponent. Now, facts that I knew are harder to remember now.

Thankgoodness for spell check too! OMG, my spelling has become atrocious!

I'm 64 yrs young, but at this point, I refuse to be tested. My Mother has dementia at 85 yrs young and I'm doing everything I can do right now to help her and protect her from family members; I don't need to know that I maybe leaving the depot and heading down that same track.
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I have been forgetful my entire life, in my late teens and early 20s my co-workers teased me that i was getting old-timers. I was a full charge bookkeeper, any number I dialed twice became part of my memory bank with name, company etc. Where did I set my coffee??!!??
What level is the car on??!!, I paid for but forgot to grab the ice, again, dang it i forgot to buy the ice. So for me, i just don't worry about it. The things that are important seem to create an imprint and other stuff is just so much fodder, im used to looking for my coffe cup or not being able to find the right words at times. I do see a huge increase of these traits when my stress is high, so I do my best to not let stress get to me, if I find myself losing my peace, I personally know I need to spend more time with my Lord. All my life is in His hands and if in His wisdom decides I must travel that path, then I know He will keep me, even in dementia. He has given us sound minds to do all things, like sensible diets, exercise, moderation and avoiding things we know will destroy our bodies. One day at a time, I don't know if I have tomorrow so why worry about decades.
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I think about that and about a recurrence of my cancer or becoming ill or incapacitated with one of a few other conditions I already have. Although I am 73 and do find that my memory fails me at times, there has not been, as far as I know, any dementia in my family, so I am hopeful on that side. But caring for my husband is certainly taking a toll both physically and emotionally, no matter how hard I try to stay positive. Just the exhaustion is overwhelming.
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what states have assisted suicide. If I was diagnosed with dementia or alzheimers that is the state I want to go to. Do not want my kids to watch me become someone else
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We all have to die from something - keep your paperwork up to date - it is a good idea to to prepare for the worst but hope for the best - however don't freak out & loose the joy of today because of a maybe future problem

However all who do due diligence in not smoking, not drinking, using sun protection & other life choices are going the right way because it could be heritary but remember you can still have an accident so also keep you brakes at their best too!
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KBEllison, I also had a DNA test family tree but not the one for "health" through chain ancestry. The health drug DNA I took was interesting, it pretty much told me what meds would work in a certain situation and what meds to avoid.

I did my own research by climbing the family tree and locating death certificates to see what was the cause of death of generations ago. On my Dad's side it was pretty much heart related issues.  I inherited my parents hypertension.

One also needs to dig up newspaper articles regarding a DNA linked relative to get to the background, or ask elderly relatives who may have heard from decades ago about a certain relative.

My great-great-grandfather died of dementia [senility] according to his death certificate, but it was due from a serious farming accident where he lost oxygen to a point where it damaged his brain according to a very old newspaper and family notes.

Other issues to look out for, a relative may have been branded as senile, when in fact they had lost their hearing. My Mom was like that, others probably thought she had major dementia but Mom just couldn't hear any more, hearing aids no longer helped.... thus whenever she was asked a question she would get this quiz-able look of confusion. Heck, Mom could still balance her checkbook and write eloquent letters into her early 90's.

All in all, the family DNA test itself was very interesting. Those larger % of certain countries were right on the mark. The much smaller 1% or 2% where "say what?" moments... those probably from hundreds of years ago.
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From all the research and my personal experience it has everything to do with diet. Eating whole foods and avoiding large amounts of carbs in your diet is key. There is a lot of theory around alzheimer's and dementia being a Type 3 Diabetes which is not widely excepted with the mainstream medical establishment. At age 52 (I'm now 55) I started having extreme brain fog and cognitive decline. With my mom having major dementia I was freaking out about my own demise. One of my issues was an intolerance to carbohydrates/sugar. This wasn't diagnosed by my doctor, they said I was fine, but diagnosed by me after trial and error with diet. I stopped all the sugary foods, junk foods, alcohol and took up a traditional diet of cooked vegetables and meat stews with root vegetables being the main ingredients in my diet. I stopped the bagel and orange juice, the granola, the wine and beer, chips, etc. Stopped dairy because I had a hidden food intolerance I wasn't even aware of. And, lo and behold, my brain fog and cognitive problems went away, my fatigue went away, my mood swings went away. It's a toxic world we live in and the acceptable american diet is killing us.

It's too late to help my mom- she loved her wine, ice cream and was obsessed with Pepsi. You have to start helping yourself why you still have enough brain to understand why you are doing what you are doing. You have to be your own researcher and find answers to avoid this dreaded disease and be willing to make the dietary changes that most people are too emotionally attached to, to let go of. At this point, the mainstream doctors don't have the answers, they are taught to prescribe pharmaceuticals, not prevent disease.

Sorry, to blab on and on. I'm just really passionate about this subject matter because dementia and alzheimer's are not a normal part of aging. I've seen the horrors of what my sweet and beautiful mom has gone through. We need to get our brains healthy and do it before it is too late.
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Yes. I've had times where I've been terrified. Seeing my mother go though this, dealing with the nursing home and the people there who will never care as I do. Caring for her at home for 8 years. Losing my own health.... Sometimes not know which pain is worse, seeing my mother decline or seeing her sometimes get poor care in the nursing home. (One of the best in our area, which also scares me since I don't have kids. Are continuing care communities the answer? I don't know.)

Anyway, I found out there's a link between stress and memory loss. There's also a link between getting 5 hours or less of sleep a night and memory loss. So now I shoot for at least 6, more on the weekend. Also found out there's a link between aspartame and Alzheimer's. I used to drink gallons of diet coke. Also, aluminum pans, so I got rid of those.

But it's been a long, long haul. It's been triage. It's been survival, putting one foot in front of the other. And at times, it's scary.

I think of how a childless, mid-40s woman with a slightly older husband can mitigate the possibility of ending up like my mother. After all, my mother has me to care for her. Who will I have. I think about LTC insurance, Continuing Care Communities, etc. But no amount of money or planning can make a CNA clean your butt thoroughly when no one will ever know the difference. I've seen the people who go into the nursing homes with no family. They die sooner.

I'm so sorry to be Debbie Downer today. Just my mood, but yes, even at my age, which some would consider "young," when I forget something I would have remembered in my 20s, I panic.
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Absolutely. Three of my four grandparents had it and the fourth died young as aa alcoholic. The other day I had a terrible fright. At work I misplaced my car! I had driven out on lunch and parked at a Mc Ds for a Diet Coke, then walked to work just next door. Went out later and couldn't find my car. I just panicked and couldn't stop and go through the events earlier. I found it in a bit with my coworkers help. They assured me that anyone who regularly gets less than 5 hours sleep and works 6 days a week and cares for an elderly husband is bound to get confused. Now I am making a priority to sleep 8 hours every single day. And eat better and stress out less. My new mantra is, " you are not a failure if you go to bed while there are still dirty dishes in your sink." I have to let some things slide and take care of myself.
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In most of these comments, they start out with “worry”, my utmost goal is not to worry about something my worrying will not change. You have to try and push it back and focus on the good things in your life today! You won’t be happy with yourself if you never get the desease you spent so much time worrying about!
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I currently am in my mid 60's
At this point I have lived past the age of my Mom and my Dad. My Mom died when I was 11 my Dad died 4 years later. My Grandma lived past 90 and sharp as a tack! (I think it must have been the old Canadian stock she came from) Both parents and Grandma died of smoking related cancer. (guess what I don't do)
My husband died of dementia. The diagnosis was Alzheimer's but I think he may also have had Vascular as well. Neither of his parents had dementia, both died of cancers.
I have decided if I am diagnosed I will move to a state where medical assisted suicide is legal. There is no way I would put anyone through what I went through with my Husband. And to know I would be loosing a bit of what makes me ME every day, every month and year is not something that I want to go through. Born and raised Catholic but no longer "practicing" I know this is something that is "wrong" but this is just another thing that the church and I do not see eye to eye on. They will not change their mind and neither will I so I remain a non practicing Catholic.....
On a happier note I am active, I keep busy, sometimes too busy I am past the age that my Husband was when he was diagnosed and I had seen little signs for a few years prior so at this point I guess I am alright.
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My mother had Alzheimer's but it did not manifest until she was almost 90, and she died of an unrelated illness. Her Alzheimer symptoms were not horrible. She remained in her own home, living with my unmarried sibling. She took daily walks and exercised mind and body - with caregiver help. If she was staying with me, I'd do My walk by pushing her in a wheelchair (indoors at a mall in bad weather). Grandparents and my father all died young.
Scary, seeing my brilliant mother affected. I too looked into research. I discovered years ago that I could reverse a genetic predictor of coronary heart disease (which runs rampant on my father's side) by following the Dean Ornish program. I was diagnosed in '05 but no longer have it as the plaque is gone. Then, I heard about the Blue Zones, several places in the world where quality longevity is common and there is virtually no dementia.
I read The Alzheimers Solution. These research doctors wondered why people in Loma Linda CA (turns out, one of the Blue Zones) do not get dementia. Basically, the plant-based diet, social connectiveness, stress-managing, and throughout-the-day movement (you don't have to run marathons!) are the keys. Im trying their advice. Personally, I felt I was starting to become forgetful. But, lately I've noticed these little things....leaving a clothing or reading article, glasses, purse somewhere and REMEMBERING where! What joy! So, who knows? I'm pushing 70 now. Every day, my husband and do some sort of activity for well over an hour. Walking, biking, (skiing or alpine). I took up golf 5 years ago to stimulate balance, rhythm, and mental acuity. My PCP retired and I researched 50 doctors in order to select one that is knowledgeable and promotes such things. During my first appointment, she mentioned Perlmutter, Andrew Weil, and that a patient had just given her The Alzheimers Solution to read. My former doctor told me years ago that Ornish was a scam (I think he came around eventually) so I am glad to find someone who is supportive.
I hope my post is helpful and wish everyone a future without this horrible disease.
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The prospect terrifies me. I know what I need to do (exercise more, and be better at self-care overall), but it's been difficult to marshall the energy to DO it.
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I've been forgetful all my life. My kids used to tell me they'd never know if I got dementia. All kidding aside, yes I worry. Grandma had it, and Dad had some form of it. My aunt lives with us, probably vascular dementia, though at 96 it may be becoming another kind as well. So when I began seeming worse, and with a gentle push from hubby, I saw a neurologist.

It helped me immensely. Yes, I was having issues, but not dementia, and he quickly told me what was really going on (besides taking care of someone with it). Two of my meds interacted to cause brain changes, my sleep apnea mask was probably leaking, and I had mild depression, the kind that exercise and self-care would help. Taking care of myself, and getting my paperwork organized, are two things I can do, then letting go of the unknown future (not easy!) I am fortunate to have options with my aunt. Good luck everyone, and we are normal to have concerns.
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I purchased a "23andme.com" kit. Get the "Health + Ancestry" kit but look for a sale on TV/internet to buy it cheaper than the retail $199 (still cheap for the forecast it could bring!). I'm still waiting for the results, which takes months to get. I'm 55 and my maternal grandmother, uncle, and now my own mother have A.D., which makes me want to know and plan far ahead if there's a big chance in my own DNA. If a high-positive is returned, my first instinct will be to retire earlier than expected to enjoy life while there's time, and to be ready to put things in order at the first signs of trouble.
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I'm not going down without a fight! There's no gene that guarantees Alzheimer's or dementia (except, perhaps, for early onset). There are things we can do. Look up Dr. David Perlmutter if you're not familiar with him.
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