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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is dementia hereditary?

    If my father had dementia does that mean that my family and I are more at risk?
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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    In the specific context of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), the short answer to your question is “no” - most cases of AD are sporadic, meaning that they are not genetically inherited.

    But, there are some exceptions.

    Early onset (before 65 y.o.) AD is often (not always) correlated with inherited mutations in some genes (those for amyloid precursor protein
     and the presenilins).

    Apart from that, people who have inherited a variant (technically, an allele; its name is ApoE4) of the gene for a protein called ApoE are at greater risk of developing AD. 

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