Is Alzheimer’s Disease Hereditary? 

Dementia is an umbrella term for an individual’s changes in memory, thinking, or reasoning was rare until the 20th century because few people lived long enough to develop it. Dementia is a disease symptom, not a normal part of aging. Many diseases may cause Dementia; there are thought to be over one hundred of them.

Dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (DAT) is the most common form of Dementia, and 70% of all dementia cases are attributed to it. The most significant factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is age; 33% of people over 85 are diagnosed with DAT.

Genetics and Alzheimer’s disease. If a family member develops Alzheimer’s disease, it does not necessarily mean that a descendant will contract the disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, specific genes passed from one family member to another make a person more likely to develop the disease.

Researchers have identified several genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Some genes increase a person’s likelihood of developing the disease (risk genes). Others guarantee that a person will develop a disease (deterministic genes), though these are rare. To find out more about these genes, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website.

Lifestyle also plays a big part in people developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Alzheimer’s disease results when plaque called amyloids build up in the brain and triggers neurodegenerative processes that lead to the loss of memory and cognitive ability. This plaque is also caused by harmful free radicals that enter the body. Some free radicals that enter the body are essential to the body’s well-being. The body’s ability to turn air and food into chemical energy depends on a chain reaction of free radicals. Free radicals are also a crucial part of the immune system, floating through the veins and attacking foreign invaders, Jessie Szalay, Live Science website May 2016.

Substances that generate harmful free radicals are in the food we eat, the medicines we take, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, according to the Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education at Stanford University. These substances include fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides, and air pollutants. It, therefore, makes sense to monitor what we put in our bodies and what air we breathe.

There are things that people can do to clear their bodies of harmful free radicals. Exercise, mental exercise, consuming foods high in antioxidants, drinking plenty of water, getting the required amount of sleep, and reducing stress all factor in cleansing harmful free radicals from our bodies.  This is why at CMV we strive to keep mind, body, and spirit healthy through our abundant activities, outings, gatherings, and more.

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