What can genetics tests tell me about Alzheimer’s risk?

The causes of late-onset Alzheimer’s (the most common form of the disease, occurring after age 65) are not yet completely understood, but they likely include a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that affect a person’s risk for developing the disease.

Genetic tests are available that can identify genes that can increase the risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s. However, the results cannot predict who will or will not develop the disease. Consequently, genetic testing for late-onset Alzheimer’s is not generally recommended, except for use in research.

If you are worried about changes in your memory or other problems with your thinking, talk to your doctor. If you do decide to seek genetic testing for late-onset Alzheimer’s, be sure to consult with a genetic counselor to help understand the results.

Visit our website to learn more about understanding Alzheimer’s genes.

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