Silent Brain Change Seen in Individuals With Alzheimer’s in the Family
If you have a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s, new research has discovered that you are more liable to exhibit brain changes associated with the disorder even before you have symptoms of memory and thinking deterioration.
With an estimated 5.2 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and a marked rise in the condition expected as more and more Boomers age, much scientific study has been undertaken in the search for a cure and prevention.
In a recent study of adults aged 55 to 89 years old, researchers analyzed genes and other markers in spinal fluid that portend a risk of Alzheimer’s. Nearly half of the healthy participants with a positive family history showed silent brain change based on measurements of their cerebrospinal fluid.
In any case, “Having a family history does not mean you will get Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who was not involved with the new study. “You may be at a higher risk for developing it, but it is not predestined”, he said.
Most importantly, if you are deemed at risk – be sure to educate yourself as to the positive lifestyle choices that can really make a difference and think about participating in an Alzheimer’s prevention trial.