Is Memory Loss Hereditary?

Memory loss can be a normal part of aging.  Forgetting where keys were placed or neglecting to pick up your dry cleaning is likely not the result of a serious issue.  However, when memory loss begins to make preforming everyday tasks difficult or begins to impact your quality of life, a closer look may be warranted. For those who have relatives with memory loss, it is common to wonder if memory loss is hereditary.  Research has shown that there may be a genetic component of Alzheimer’s.

Is Memory Loss Hereditary?

Memory loss is more than simple forgetfulness.  Exhibiting the following symptoms may be evidence of an issue with memory loss:

Genetic Links

Research has shown that there is a genetic link in Alzheimer’s. Specifically, there are genes that make a person more prone to developing Alzheimer’s.  However, it is possible to have the gene indicator and to not develop the disease.  Researchers continue to do more investigation on the genetic link to Alzheimer’s and to work toward discovering what factors determine whether an individual ultimately develops the disease.

Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Early onset Alzheimer’s has the same symptoms as regular Alzheimer’s.  However, the age of the affected individuals is dramatically different.  Early Onset Alzheimer’s commonly runs in families and appears to be linked with the 21st chromosome.  The 21st chromosome is also the chromosome that is duplicated in Downs Syndrome and individuals with that condition also tend to develop memory issues.  Scientists and researchers continue to investigate the link between the genetic marker and memory loss.

Memory Loss Concerns

If you’re wondering if memory loss is hereditary due to your family history, there are a number of things to consider.  First, you can have genetic testing done to determine if you have the gene markers that increase the risk of developing memory loss.  While this test cannot definitively determine if an individual will develop the disease, it can determine if you’re at an increased genetic risk.  Next, speak with your physician or a neurologist about your concerns.  Self-monitoring can help you to determine if memory issues are developing and gives you a starting point for discussions with your doctor.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or check for availability, book online or call 212 987-0100.

Author
NY Neurologists

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