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Alzheimer's Disease

Early Testing for Alzheimer's Disease

12/03/2001

Question:

Alzheimer`s runs in my mother's side of the family. Her father and uncle got the disease early in their lives. Should the women of the family be worried since the men appear to have had the genetic tendencies? And because they had the earlier form of the disease (they were both in their forties when the symptoms first appeared) should family members be tested at an early point in their lives? Thank you,

Answer:

Hi, Thank you for your question. It has been answered by Dr. David Geldmacher of the University Memory and Aging Center. "At this time there is essentially no evidence to suggest that Alzheimer`s disease inheritance follows gender lines, so the women in the family should be at the same risk as the men. None of several expert consensus panels suggests any form of presymptomatic testing for late onset Alzheimer disease. However, since your family history appears to include the early onset form of the disease, I recommend that you be in touch with an Alzheimer`s research program in your area, and to talk with your doctor about referral to a genetic counselor to determine whether getting genetic testing would be helpful or not." I hope this has been helpful to you. If you have any other questions feel free to contact us again.

Related Resources:

Memory and Cognition Center

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Response by:

Paula K Ogrocki, PhD Paula K Ogrocki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University

David   Geldmacher, MD David Geldmacher, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University