By Lumos Labs Science Associate, Paul Li, MS Neuroscience.
There is some new evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is much more likely for people whose parents both have the neurodegenerative disorder than if only one parent has it. Researchers examined families in which both parents have Alzheimer’s, and found that their children ended up with the disease 42% of the time.
This finding supports the evidence that genes play an important role in determining whether you end up with Alzheimer’s. One of the genetic components responsible for the disease is known as the gene Apolipoprotein E (ApoE). Fortunately your genes do not entirely determine your fate. Your lifestyle is important too, and although we do not have control of our genetic makeup, we can control how we live. With the proper cognitive and physical exercise, brain food, and even attitude toward life, one can better buffer their brain from later years of cognitive decline and delay the risk of dementia.
The incidence of Alzheimer’s increases with age, and is typically diagnosed after the age of 65. By then, there’s not much you can do to slow the disease. So what can you do earlier to help your chances of preserving cognitive function? For me personally, I have been implementing some of the brain health tips on this blog, as well as training my brain with Lumosity, as part of my daily routine. This is not just to practice what I preach, but rather to address a concern I have when I constantly need to remind my parents about certain things, such as taking their meds. I’d rather start my cognitive training regimen early so that when I someday reach my parents’ age my brain will be in the best condition it can be.