Dementia might run in my family: Can I get tested?

Posted by karanw @karanw, Jul 30 2:43am

Hi, my name is Karan (22). I feel Dementia is something that runs in my family. My grandfather had it when he was 65, like his mother had. Do you think I should get a diagnosis for any pre clinical Alzheimer’s and is there any benefit if it gets detected at this stage?

Hi @karan2, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You ask very good questions. If dementia runs in the family, is there a test to know if you are at high risk? And equally important, what might be the benefit of drawback of knowing?

@arachel asked similar questions in this discussion:
– My mom has dementia. Am I doomed to the same future? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/my-mom-has-dementia-am-i-doomed-to-the-same-future/

Genetic testing can possibly predict if you have familial Alzheimer's disease, but only 2-3% of Alzheimer's cases are familial. Do you know what type of dementia your grandfather and great grandmother had?

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@karanw Such an interesting question! A question back to you: what is your main reason for wanting to know? So far, there isn’t really something that can be done to prevent dementia. The best thing that you can do is to take proper care of yourself and enjoy life.
Dementia is such a scary thing for everyone involved. Maybe they’ll have a plan by the time you are old enough. My mother is 97 and completely with it. She is totally up on the latest news and even gives me a hard time because I don’t watch the news all day. Her mother and brother both had dementia in their older years.
If I had known 50 years ago that I would have this autoimmune disease in my brain, I would have had 50 years to think about it and worry. Instead, I’ve had a good life, traveled all around the world, had two sons and two grandchildren, and the kindest, nicest husband ever!
Just live your life and love every day! (I didn’t answer your question about is there a test. I’m sorry, I just don’t know)

Liked by virginianaeve

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I'm with Becky. And no, you are not doomed. You can get a genetic test to see if you have one or two APOE 4 gene alleles. If you have one, your chances for Alzheimer's disease is increased. If you have two, that increases your chances substantially. I have a friend who 'accidentally' found out she had two and she went in to a severe depression for two years. She's fine now. If you have the allele, it's not a death sentence. In any case, exercise, eat good, healthy food and have a positive attitude! 🙂

Liked by karanw

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@colleenyoung

Hi @karan2, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You ask very good questions. If dementia runs in the family, is there a test to know if you are at high risk? And equally important, what might be the benefit of drawback of knowing?

@arachel asked similar questions in this discussion:
– My mom has dementia. Am I doomed to the same future? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/my-mom-has-dementia-am-i-doomed-to-the-same-future/

Genetic testing can possibly predict if you have familial Alzheimer's disease, but only 2-3% of Alzheimer's cases are familial. Do you know what type of dementia your grandfather and great grandmother had?

Jump to this post

Hi @colleenyoung Thank you so much for replying back 🙂 Honestly I don't know what type of dementia both of them had! But I remember the symptoms my grandfather had during his last few years- memory loss, speaking problem, cognitive decline. Apparently the only name and person he remembered during that time, was me ☺️ that's why I loved him so much!!

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@colleenyoung

Hi @karan2, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You ask very good questions. If dementia runs in the family, is there a test to know if you are at high risk? And equally important, what might be the benefit of drawback of knowing?

@arachel asked similar questions in this discussion:
– My mom has dementia. Am I doomed to the same future? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/my-mom-has-dementia-am-i-doomed-to-the-same-future/

Genetic testing can possibly predict if you have familial Alzheimer's disease, but only 2-3% of Alzheimer's cases are familial. Do you know what type of dementia your grandfather and great grandmother had?

Jump to this post

For anyone who’s interested, there’s a free 7 week course on dementia put on by the University of Tasmania about dementia. I’m about halfway through it. It’s very informative. https://mooc2.utas.edu.au/course/21

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@becsbuddy

@karanw Such an interesting question! A question back to you: what is your main reason for wanting to know? So far, there isn’t really something that can be done to prevent dementia. The best thing that you can do is to take proper care of yourself and enjoy life.
Dementia is such a scary thing for everyone involved. Maybe they’ll have a plan by the time you are old enough. My mother is 97 and completely with it. She is totally up on the latest news and even gives me a hard time because I don’t watch the news all day. Her mother and brother both had dementia in their older years.
If I had known 50 years ago that I would have this autoimmune disease in my brain, I would have had 50 years to think about it and worry. Instead, I’ve had a good life, traveled all around the world, had two sons and two grandchildren, and the kindest, nicest husband ever!
Just live your life and love every day! (I didn’t answer your question about is there a test. I’m sorry, I just don’t know)

Jump to this post

No need to be sorry @becsbuddy you are so right!! Instead of worrying about a disease which may or may not come into my life in a distant future, I should start focusing on my present and leave it to destiny to decide how to frame my future!
Can't thank you enough for encouraging me! Of all I think today I wanted to listen to a message just like yours 😊👍
Thank you so much!

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