I Want To Know: Is Dementia Hereditary?
Many people over the age of 50 are fearful of memory loss and for a good reason.
According to studies, dementia may or may not be hereditary.
According to Professor Nick Fox, Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Institute of Neurology in London, it depends on what causes dementia:
“The majority of dementia is not inherited, but this depends very much on the particular cause of dementia. Some (rare) causes of dementia are very clearly ‘inherited,’ for example, Huntington’s disease. This is an ‘autosomal dominant’ disease which means that only one faulty copy of the gene is needed in order to inherit the disease.”
He goes on to say, “If you have inherited the gene you will get the disease if you live long enough. It does not skip a generation. Some other dementias have both inherited and non-inherited forms. In the case of frontal-temporal dementias, 30 to 50 per cent of cases are inherited. Most cases of Alzheimer’s disease are not inherited.”
Here is a risk factor tool that can help you understand more about the risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
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Note: This information is general in nature. It should not be construed as professional medical, financial, legal, or tax advice. You should work with your healthcare provider, financial, attorney, or tax professional to determine what will work best for you and your loved one’s situation.