Is Alzheimer's disease hereditary?

Betty Long, RN, MHA
Nursing Specialist

It's not likely, but there is a small chance. Familiar Alzheimer’s is a relatively rare inherited form of the disease, affecting less than 10% of the population.

The more common late-onset Alzheimer’s shows no pattern although genetics does seem to play a role. But a family history alone is not enough to cause Alzheimers. Researchers continue to focus on diet, environment and other factors.

Just as a reminder, some of the more common warning signs of Alzheimers Disease are:

  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks or using simple household appliances
  • Disorientation, such as becoming lost on your own street
  • Poor judgment, such as wearing several shirts on a warm day or very little clothing in cold weather
  • Putting items in unusual places, such as a book in the refrigerator, and forgetting how they got there
  • Problems with abstract thinking, such as difficulty in balancing a checkbook
  • Changes in mood or behavior, such as rapidly going from calm to tearful to angry for no apparent reason
  • Loss of initiative, marked by extreme passivity and lack of interest in normal activities

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.