Let's talk about 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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*The 23andMe PGS test uses qualitative genotyping to detect select clinically relevant variants in the genomic DNA of adults from saliva for the purpose of reporting and interpreting genetic health risks. It is not intended to diagnose any disease. Your ethnicity may affect the relevance of each report and how your genetic health risk results are interpreted. Each genetic health risk report describes if a person has variants associated with a higher risk of developing a disease, but does not describe a person’s overall risk of developing the disease. The test is not intended to tell you anything about your current state of health, or to be used to make medical decisions, including whether or not you should take a medication, how much of a medication you should take, or determine any treatment. The Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease genetic health risk report is indicated for reporting of the ε4 variant in the APOE gene and describes if a person has a variant associated with an increased risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The ε4 variant included in this report is found and has been studied in many ethnicities. Detailed risk estimates have been studied the most in people of European descent.

References

Alzheimer’s Association. (2020). “2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.” alz.org. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from https://www.alz.org/media/Documents/alzheimers-facts-and-figures.pdf

Alzheimer’s Association. “What is Alzheimer’s?” Retrieved February 19, 2019, from https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers.

National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Alzheimers.gov. Retrieved March 11, 2019, from https://www.alzheimers.gov/.

National Library of Medicine. “Alzheimer Disease Overview.” GeneReviews. Retrieved March 11, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1161/.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias.” National Institute on Aging. Retrieved March 11, 2019, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2020). “Alzheimer disease.” MedlinePlus.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2020). “APOE gene.” MedlinePlus.