Rochester, Minnesota - Certain genes make you more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Genes control the function of every cell in your body. Some genes determine basic characteristics, such as the color of your eyes and hair. Other genes can make you more likely to develop certain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers have identified a number of genes associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, genetic risk factors are just one of the factors involved in getting Alzheimer's disease.
Most common late-onset Alzheimer's gene
The most common variety of Alzheimer's disease usually begins after age 65 (late-onset Alzheimer's disease). The most common gene associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease is called apolipoprotein E (APOE).
APOE has three common forms:
- APOE e2 - the least common - appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.
- APOE e4 - a little more common - appears to increase the risk of Alzheimer's.
- APOE e3 - the most common - doesn't seem to affect the risk of Alzheimer's.