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Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

What is late-onset Alzheimer's disease?

Late-onset Alzheimer's disease is a condition characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and personality changes developing after the age of 65. One in ten Americans age 65 and older is affected by Alzheimer's disease.

Is late-onset Alzheimer's disease genetic?

Late-onset Alzheimer's disease is influenced by genetics. The ε4 variant in the APOE gene is the most common genetic variant associated with the disease. This means that people with at least one copy of the ε4 variant may have an increased risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

It may be possible to reduce late-onset Alzheimer's disease risk

Some factors that may influence the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease - like age, sex, genetics and family history - are beyond a person's control. However, there are several lifestyle factors that may help reduce the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

  • Diet: Studies suggest a diet with plenty of green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
  • Intellectual activity: Researchers suggest that exercising the brain through activities like reading, writing, and doing puzzles may help promote brain health.
  • Exercise: Evidence suggests that exercise benefits the brain and may decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes.

Explore more

You can find out whether you may have an increased risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease based on your genetics with the 23andMe Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease Genetic Health Risk report*. The report looks for the ε4 variant in the APOE gene associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease. The report is available through the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service.

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