Can Alzheimer’s Be Passed Down?
The underlying cause of Alzheimer’s still remains elusive for scientists who hope to help stop the disease from progressing or even prevent it. With the current research, some genes have been identified as causing an important role in Alzheimer’s. A number of genes can be risk factors for Alzheimer’s. There are also some genes which are hereditary and will cause a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s. So, in certain cases, Alzheimer’s can be passed down.
The Two Types of Alzheimer’s
There are two types of Alzheimer’s which show differences in hereditary properties. They include:
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
This is rare and occurs in people who are 60 years old and younger. It is an unusual type of Alzheimer’s because it is caused by a hereditary genetic mutation to either PSEN1, PSEN2 or APP genes. If a child is born of parents with any of these genes, then they have a 50% likelihood of inheriting the mutation.
- Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease
This occurs in people who are 60 years and above and it is more common. It is not associated with any genetic mutations which could increase the likelihood that a person would develop Alzheimer’s. The presence of the genes is only a risk factor of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
It is true that Alzheimer’s can be passed down in the case of early-onset Alzheimer’s. This type of Alzheimer’s has a much higher chance of inheritance from generation to generation.