Is Dementia Hereditary? | Discover These 8 Risk Factors

elderly woman hands holding missing white | Is Dementia Hereditary? Is It Avoidable? | Featured

Is dementia hereditary? It is an understandable concern for most families with older adults. Here’s what you need to know.

RELATED: 10 Tips for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

Is Dementia Hereditary?

portrait attractive 50yearold man | dementia vs alzheimers

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for conditions that involve the deterioration in:

  • thinking
  • memory
  • behavior
  • ability to perform daily tasks

It’s not a single disease but a syndrome that includes Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form.

Dementia is a common condition among older people, but it’s not inevitable in the aging process. Older people may live out their golden years without developing the syndrome. You may forget where you placed your car keys, but this is normal for elders.

Elders could lose their independence, and this may have a significant impact on the family. A 2017 study estimates that it affects four to five million in the US.

Because it’s hard on the family and the older generation, it becomes everyone’s concern.

Is Dementia Hereditary?

happy family spending good time beach | is dementia inherited from mother or father

Most cases of dementia are not hereditary. It also differs in the form of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease

In most cases, it is not inherited.

Age is a more significant risk factor. It’s more common for people in their 70s or 80s, but their grandchildren may not develop it. But if a grandparent develops Alzheimer’s disease before this age, there is a greater chance that it may be passed down.

Family history may also increase your chance of developing this form of dementia. If your parents have Alzheimer’s, your likelihood grows by 10% to 30%.

Researchers found that the gene APOE e4 could be a marker for Alzheimer’s disease. However, note that even if the genes are present, it does not mean that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease.

It simply means that you may have a higher chance of developing it.

Vascular Dementia

In most cases, it is not inherited.

However, risk factors that can increase your likelihood to develop vascular dementia are genetic. These include diabetes and high blood pressure.

Keeping your heart healthy is the best way to lower your chance of developing dementia.

Frontotemporal Dementia

Yes, it was recently considered highly heritable.

A 2019 study found that 30% of patients have a strong family history. Forty percent of patients with frontotemporal dementia have close relatives with a form of dementia. It may also develop at different ages for each patient within the family.

Scientists suggest that this form of dementia might be more common in adults below 60. Data shows that around 60% of patients are between 45 to 65 years of age.

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)

Not much is known about this form of dementia, but research shows that it may be hereditary. Note, however, that in most cases, there is no known cause.

No evidence suggests that lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing LBD. But it may reduce your risk for other forms of dementia.

There are rarer types of dementia that may also be passed down. These include:

  • Young-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Familial prion disease

DISCLAIMER: This article is meant to share information, and should not be taken as medical advice.

Risk Factors To Consider

red heart stethoscope on white background | is alzheimer's hereditary from grandparents

You may be fortunate enough to have a healthy family history, but other factors may increase your likelihood.

Below are the risk factors for dementia:

  1. Age – It is the foremost risk factor. But keep in mind that dementia is not standard in aging.
  2. Family History – Evidence shows that dementia may be genetically linked. However, it is not a guarantee that you will develop the condition.
  3. Heart Health – High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking may increase your chance. High blood pressure and diabetes are hereditary.
  4. Traumatic Brain Injury – Repeated or severe injury may increase your likelihood of developing dementia. Studies show that it may lower the onset age for dementia.

Other risk factors include:

  • low educational attainment
  • depression
  • lack of social interaction
  • cognitive inactivity

If you have a strong family history and possess the risk factors, you may want to note symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Dementia?

attractive depressed upset man home bedroom | what causes dementia

The progression is different for everyone, but it is widely accepted that dementia may develop in three stages.

Early Stage

It’s easy to miss out on the signs in the early stage since they are subtle and gradual.

  • forgetfulness
  • getting lost in familiar places
  • losing track of time

Middle Stage

The symptoms become more distinct and may interfere more with daily activities.

  • forgetting names and events
  • getting lost at home
  • having trouble communicating
  • requiring help with personal care
  • changes in behavior (i.e. wandering, asking many questions)

Late Stage

In this stage, the patient will become dependent on caregivers or family members. Patients will also experience difficulty with motor skills.

  • unaware of the time and location
  • difficulty recognizing family and friends
  • more need for assistance with personal care
  • difficulty walking
  • behavioral changes, aggression

Is It Preventable?

architect office sitting on desk looking | is dementia hereditary yes or no

There is no known cure or drug to absolutely prevent dementia.

There are limited studies that show that eating right may help reduce your risk.

The Mediterranean Diet, which focuses on heart health, may lower your risk of dementia or slow cognitive decline. The MIND Diet, made for the mind and heart, may slow age-related cognitive decline and reduce Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Exercising your mind and body may keep dementia at bay. Taking care of your body by not smoking and controlling your weight may also give you a fighting chance.

RELATED: 10 Best Diets For Men (and How to Choose One)

How Is It Diagnosed?

woman doctor smiling looking camera while | what causes dementia

A neurologist specializes in the brain and is the best person to get you an accurate diagnosis. There are other brain disorders with similar symptoms as dementia. During your consultation, your doctor may be able to rule these out.

Prepare your medical history before you visit your doctor. This will include your family history or when you first noticed some changes. Let your doctor know what medication you may be taking as these may worsen your symptoms.

You may take a physical exam to evaluate your vital signs, and a neurological test will assess your cognitive functions.

Other procedures may also help diagnose dementia:

  • Cognitive and neuropsychological tests to evaluate your cognitive functions.
  • Lab tests may help rule out other possible causes for your symptoms
  • Brain scans include CT scans, MRI, or PET, which can spot tumors, strokes, and other causes of dementia.
  • Psychiatric evaluations may help rule out other underlying causes like depression.
  • Genetic tests may help pinpoint genes that cause dementia and help identify your risk.

Is It Treatable?

female patient doctor have consultation hospital | does dementia run in families

Unfortunately, there are still no cures for dementia. There is no way to reverse the death of a brain cell. Some medicines can help manage symptoms, but none can stop or slow their development.

Because the causes of dementia are different for each type, each form is likely to have its separate cure, if any.

Is Dementia Hereditary?

So is dementia hereditary? In a nutshell, not all forms of dementia are not hereditary. If you do not have a family history, there are still other risk factors to note. Eating healthily and keeping your mind and body active may be the best way to keep dementia at bay.

Because the older generation is growing, scientists estimate that by 2050, the number of cases could increase three times. Fortunately, we continue to learn more about the syndrome. We’re also better at treating heart conditions, which could lower the risk for dementia.

Check out this video for foolproof ways to keep your brain healthy and to know about the question “is dementia hereditary”?

Are you doing preventive measures to maintain a healthy brain?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The more important concern is not to answer the question “is dementia hereditary” instead, knowing what are the risk factors and how to handle them properly is what you should focus on.

Medical science continues to advance each year. The more we learn about dementia, the better we can treat, or better yet, prevent it.

Is dementia hereditary or not? We’d love to know your thoughts, share them below.

80 thoughts on “Is Dementia Hereditary? | Discover These 8 Risk Factors”

  1. Can I just say what a aid to find someone who really knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You positively know learn how to convey a difficulty to gentle and make it important. Extra individuals need to read this and perceive this side of the story. I cant imagine youre not more fashionable since you definitely have the gift.

  2. Just want to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are
    an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab
    your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  3. Hey, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, terrific blog!

  4. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everybody else encountering issues with your website.
    It appears as though some of the written text on your posts
    are running off the screen. Can someone else please
    provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This may be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Many thanks

  5. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?

    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due
    to no back up. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  6. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme
    in our community. Your web site provided us with useful info to work on. You have
    done a formidable activity and our entire group will probably be grateful to
    you.

  7. Hello there, I found your blog via Google whilst searching for
    a comparable topic, your site came up, it appears great.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just become alert to your weblog through Google, and located
    that it’s really informative. I’m gonna be careful for brussels.
    I’ll be grateful in the event you proceed this in future.
    Numerous other people will probably be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  8. What i don’t understood is in reality how you are no longer really much more neatly-liked than you might be now. You are so intelligent. You already know therefore considerably in relation to this subject, made me individually believe it from numerous numerous angles. Its like men and women are not involved unless it’s something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. At all times deal with it up!

  9. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.
    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.

    I desire to read more things about it!

  10. Hi there, simply became aware of your weblog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful when you proceed this in future. Many other folks might be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  11. Aw, this was a very nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a superb article…
    but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never manage to
    get nearly anything done.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.