How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Dementia
For the vast majority of people, our genes are only one factor affecting our risk of dementia. There are many other factors involved, such as age and lifestyle. While we cannot change our age or genes, research has found that up to a third of all cases of dementia could be avoided through lifestyle changes.
There are simple things we can do that may help lower our risk:
- Do not smoke.
- Drink fewer than 14 units of alcohol per week.
- Control high blood pressure.
- Keep cholesterol at a healthy level.
- Keep active and exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet.
You can find more detailed information about how you can reduce your risk of dementia here.
Mom: How Nice Aunt Flo Will Be
There are some girls that cannot wait to get their cycle, so they can finally hit womanhood. The common age for a girl to get her cycle is between the ages of 13 and 15. There have been cases though of girls getting it as early as eight years old.
Did you know though that your mother can basically tell you exactly when you will get your period?
Health.howstuffworks.com says that according to the Institute of Cancer Research at the University of London, there is a 57% that most girls will start menstruating within three months of when their mother first got her cycle.
How crazy is that?
Stem Cells And Dementia
Stem cells are “building block” cells. They can develop into many different cell types, including brain or nerve cells.
Scientists have taken skin cells from people with certain types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and “reprogrammed” them into stem cells in the lab. They’ve then triggered these stem cells to become brain cells.
These brain cells can also be used to test potential treatments at a very early stage.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
If you are diagnosed with FTD, you and your caregivers should talk with your healthcare providers about when to call them. Your healthcare provider will likely advise calling if your symptoms become worse, or if you have obvious or sudden changes in behavior, personality, or speech. This includes mood changes, such as increasing depression or feeling suicidal.It can be very stressful for a caregiver to take care of a loved one with FTD. It’s normal to have feelings of denial, anger, and irritability. Caregivers may also have anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and health problems of their own. Caregivers should contact their healthcare provider if they have any of these signs of stress.
Identifying Who’s At Risk Of Dementia
Experts know that damage to the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease can start many years before symptoms appear. If people at risk of Alzheimer’s could be identified at an early stage, it is hoped that treatments could be offered that would slow down or even stop the disease.
A major study, called PREVENT, concentrates on people in their 40s and 50s to identify those who are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s . It aims to understand what is happening in their brains before symptoms appear.
Specialised brain scans, known as PET scans, have been developed to study two proteins in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. The aim is to increase the understanding of the disease process, and also to identify those people who will benefit most from new drug treatments.
Although PET scans are sometimes used to help with a dementia diagnosis, these highly specialised scans are usually only available as part of clinical trials.
A number of different trials are now under way in people who are currently well but are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Can Vascular Dementia Be Inherited
In most cases, vascular dementia itself is not inherited. However, the underlying health issues that sometimes contribute to this condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, may be passed on from one generation to another.
Other than in a few, very rare cases, parents cannot pass on vascular dementia to their children. However, a parent may pass certain genes that increase the risk of developing vascular dementia.
The sort of genes that increase the risk of vascular dementia are often the same ones that increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
For this reason, having a healthy lifestyle, such as eating well and staying physically active, are probably more important for preventing vascular dementia than they are in Alzheimer’s disease.
Your Genes Are Not Your Destiny
Studies show that our genetics predict only about 20-30% of our longevity. The rest is up to our lifestyle choices. Its similar for dementia risk. When Bud saw his brain scans and his cognitive testing results, he got serious about his physical health and his brain health. He completely overhauled his dietdramatically reducing his sugar consumption, increasing his intake of protein and healthy fats, decreasing the number of processed carbohydrates, and adding important nutritional supplements. He also started exercising and began using a CPAP machine to help his sleep apnea.
Within a year, he dropped 30 pounds and was happy to seeblood pressure and blood sugar levels fall into a healthy range. Even better,he said his memory and focus were better than when he was in his 20s. Withthese lifestyle changes, Bud had lowered his risk for the dreaded disease. Youcan do it too.
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If Familial Alzheimers Disease Is Suspected
Genetic testing can identify specific changes in a persons genes. This test can tell if a person has FAD and if a child has inherited the changed gene from a parent and will develop the disease in the future. It cannot determine when the symptoms will begin. It is essential to ensure that suspected cases in the family have, or have had, Alzheimers disease and not some other form of dementia. This can only be done through a medical examination, or a careful analysis of past medical records if the person is no longer alive.
The Latest In Alzheimers And Dementia Testing
There are many tests today that can help determine whether you are at risk for Alzheimers or dementia. These include:
- Cognitive assessments. Medical professionals continue to refine their ability to evaluate and assess a persons cognitive health with motor skill and mental tests.
- Brain scans. Brain imaging can also shed light on alterations in the brain that may lead to or be causing dementia.
- Blood tests. Tests can detect a protein in the blood called NfL . It has proven to be an early biological marker for Alzheimers. Other tests can evaluate the level of amyloid and tau proteins in the blood.
- DNA testing. There are many tests available today that can detect the ApoE gene which has been associated with late-onset Alzheimers. Even genealogy companies like 23andMe can test for variants of the ApoE gene.
Alzheimer’s Disease Inherited Through Maternal Line Study Finds
- A family history of Alzheimer’s disease significantly increases the risk for developing this disorder, but a new study suggests that which of your parents has the disease is very important.
A family history of Alzheimer’s disease significantly increases the risk for developing this disorder, but a new study in Biological Psychiatry suggests that which of your parents has the disease is very important.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia in late-life, affecting over 5 million elderly in the United States alone. In order to develop preventative treatments, it is necessary to identify those individuals who are at highest risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
Although individuals with a parental history of Alzheimer’s are at increased risk for developing the disease, the specific biological and genetic mechanisms accounting for this increased risk are not known.
An important consideration may be a phenomenon called genomic imprinting, where the pattern of the inherited disease differs based on whether the risk genes are inherited from the mother or the father. Imprinting is a type of epigenetic regulation, meaning that long lasting changes in gene function are produced through regulatory mechanisms rather than by altering the sequence of the DNA.
Explore the latest scientific research on sleep and dreams in this free online course from New Scientist
What Are The Symptoms Of Frontotemporal Dementia
Symptoms of FTD start gradually and progress steadily, and in some cases, rapidly. They vary from person to person, depending on the areas of the brain involved. These are common symptoms:
- Behavior and/or dramatic personality changes, such as swearing, stealing, increased interest in sex, or a deterioration in personal hygiene habits
- Socially inappropriate, impulsive, or repetitive behaviors
- Impaired judgment
- Increasing dependence
Some people have physical symptoms, such as tremors, muscle spasms or weakness, rigidity, poor coordination and/or balance, or difficulty swallowing. Psychiatric symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, also may occur, although these are not as common as behavioral and language changes.
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Your Genes Can Increase Your Risk For Dementia
Having a family memberespeciallya first-degree relative like your mother, father, sister, or brotherwithsevere memory problems, Alzheimers disease, or another form of dementia makesyou 3.5 times more likely to develop symptoms. Similarly, if you have one ortwo copies of the APOE4 gene, you have a greater chance of memory problems.
Many people in the medical community contend that there is nothing anyone can do to mitigate genetic risk. Theyre wrong. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk even if you have a genetic predisposition for the disease. Just look at Bud.
Age Is The Biggest Risk
One thing we do know is that age is the single biggest risk factor for Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia. Above the age of 65, your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or vascular dementia doubles every five years according to Alzheimers Society. Dementia is estimated to affect one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over the age of 80.
Vascular dementia is caused by a stroke or series or mini-strokes leading to a reduced oxygen supply to the brain. It affects approximately 150,000 people in the UK. It is less likely to be genetic, though further research is needed. Studies have shown conflicting results, as some studies show links between the gene called APOE, which can play a role in development of Alzheimers disease, while others dont.
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Parental Anxiety Can Pass On To Children
the Psychiatry Advisor take:
Anxious and overprotective parents may unwittingly be harming their children as the anxiety may be passed down to them.
Thats the key finding of a new study from scientists at Kings College London, who looked at parents who were twins, both identical and fraternal. They compared data on anxiety symptoms from children and their parent, and compared this against data from the parents identical twin and their children in order to determine the effect of genetic versus environmental factors.
Parents who were identical twins had anxiety on similar levels to their own children rather than their nieces or nephews, an indication that family environment is an important factor in anxiety among parents and children, even accounting for genetics, the researchers reported in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
While a natural tendency when your child is anxious is to try to protect them, it can be more helpful to support them in taking small age-appropriate risks, study head author Thalia Eley, PhD, said, according to the Daily Mail. This will teach them that the world is generally a safe place and they can manage situations that initially seem stressful, developing their sense of mastery and in turn promoting resilience.
Eley added additional research is needed to determine if anxiety in children induced anxiety in parents, or whether the adolescents learning to view the world in a threatening way because of their parents behavior.
Can Genes Cause Dementia
Around 1 in 4 people aged 55 years and over has a close birth relative with dementia. Find out what part genes play in dementia and how genetics can affect the risk of developing the condition.
It is well known that children can take after their parents for example, in the way they look. This is partly because many of the key characteristics of a person are passed down from parents to children in their genes.
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Testing For Familial Alzheimers Disease
The decision to undergo testing for FAD is very complex and the advantages and disadvantages must be carefully considered. The test does not produce a relative risk of acquiring the dementia, but is a definitive prediction of whether a person will get a profound and progressive illness in ones middle years. The test can only be completed with the informed consent of the person being tested. No one should ever be pressured to have such a test.
Knowing that you are carrying the gene may help some people plan for the future. It enables them to consider future lifestyle choices and to let their wishes be known to someone they trust. However, given that no cure is available an individual has to consider whether they want to know that they will develop dementia at some time in the future.
To help people consider these issues specialised genetic counselling is essential. The doctor can provide details of this service. In the future, when preventive treatments for Alzheimers disease become available, there may be increased reasons to seek testing.
Genes And Frontotemporal Dementia
Frontotemporal dementia , originally called Picks disease, is a rarer type of dementia mostly affecting people under the age of 65 years. The symptoms of FTD can be quite varied but include changes that mostly affect behaviour or language. There are different types of FTD, and these are likely to have different causes.
Some people with FTD have a family history of dementia and the condition may be inherited in some of these families. For behavioural variant FTD, a third to half of people could have a family history. This figure is thought to be much lower for other types of FTD.
Overall, around one in ten cases of FTD are thought to be caused by a faulty gene passed down in families. Several genes have been found that can cause these inherited types of FTD, including:
Mutations in the MAPT gene can cause the tau protein to behave abnormally, forming toxic clumps that can damage brain cells. We still need to understand more about how mutations in progranulin and C9ORF72 cause the disease.
The C9ORF72 gene can cause people to develop motor neurone disease, FTD or both conditions, and may affect members of the same family differently.
In cases of FTD that are not caused by faulty genes, the risk factors are not yet fully understood, and research is ongoing.
Is genetic testing available for frontotemporal dementia?
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Dementia Caused By A Single
Of the four most common types of dementia, frontotemporal dementia is most likely to be caused by a single-gene change.
Is dementia different when it’s caused by a single-gene change?
Yes, it can be different in some ways.
- It often develops earlier in life. For example, an affected person might get dementia in their 40s or 50s rather than in their 70s or above. This is known as young-onset dementia.
- It tends to run strongly in families, with several close relatives who develop the same type of dementia. For example, a person with a single-gene dementia may have a grandparent, a parent and a brother who all had frontotemporal dementia . This is why dementia caused by a single-gene disease is sometimes known as familial dementia.
Can single-gene dementias be inherited directly?
Yes. If a single-gene dementia is present in a family, it is quite likely that a person from that family will develop dementia:
- If one of the parents carries the changed gene, each child has a 1 in 2 chance of inheriting it.
- If one of the children carries the changed gene, any brothers or sisters they have has a 1 in 2 chance of carrying it as well.
People Affected By Dementia Are Often Concerned About Whether The Condition Can Be Passed Along In Families
Here we discuss the role of heredity in Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia.
Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a persons functioning. It is a broad term to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and what would be considered normal emotional reactions. Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 50% to 70% of all cases of dementia. It occurs relatively frequently in older people, regardless of family history. For females aged 65 to 69 years dementia affects 1 person in 80 compared to 1 person in 60 for males. For both males and females aged 85 and over the rate is approximately 1 person in 4.
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What Should I Do If I Think Ftd May Be Inherited In My Family
If your family history does raise some concerns, there are some important steps you can take to explore further.