Apolipoprotein E-4 Genetic (DNA) Test - Topic Overview
Most people who develop
Alzheimer's disease do not have a history of the
disease in their families. But if you do have a family history of Alzheimer's disease
(one or more members of a family have had the disease), then your risk of getting it is higher. When a disease is found in families, the cause could be genetic (heredity), something in the environment, lifestyle choices, or a combination of these things.
A blood test can look for a substance that seems to increase a person's risk for Alzheimer's disease. The gene is called apolipoprotein E-4 (ApoE-4). The presence of ApoE-4 cannot predict for
sure whether a person will develop Alzheimer's disease. Many people who have
the ApoE-4 gene do not get Alzheimer's disease, and many people who do not have
the gene still develop the disease. Most experts do not consider ApoE-4 testing a necessary
or useful part of evaluating a person with suspected Alzheimer's
You're a health activist. What sparked your interest?
My mother suffered from Alzheimer's. And I was diagnosed with osteoporosis
in the early 1990s. It's a message to all women that ... it's not an infirmity
you have to endure. Something can be done.
Did caring for your mother inspire you to do your new film, Away From
As insightful as the movie is about Alzheimer's, it's about the love that a
man is capable of -- what a husband is able to do in terms of making sure that
Sometimes people develop Alzheimer's disease at a young age, between the ages of 30 and 60. This is referred to as
early-onset Alzheimer's disease or autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease. It is not common (less than 5 out of 100 cases), and this form of the disease has been linked to defects in specific genes. There is a 50% risk that these genes will be passed on. A person who inherits the genetic
defect will most likely develop Alzheimer's disease.