Alzheimer’s Disease and APOE-4 Variant Gene

Having a copy of the ε4 variant of APOE does not mean that a person will definitely develop Alzheimer’s. Most people who have the ε4 variant never develop Alzheimer’s and more than half of the people with Alzheimer’s have no copies of APOE ε4 at all. But people with one copy of APOE ε4 who do get Alzheimer’s tend to get it earlier than patients with no copies of ε4 and people with two copies of APOE ε4 tend to get Alzheimer’s earlier still.

Prescription on aging

All you need to know about ApoE4

Note

Having the APOE ε4 variant is a risk factor and does not mean you will get any disease associated with it. There are homozygous APOEε4 carriers who, even at age 80, do not possess any symptoms of dementia or any other disease associated with the ε4 variant.

Background

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterized by a decline in thinking and reasoning skills. People with Alzheimer’s are eventually unable to perform activities associated with daily living. It is the most common form of dementia in people over the age of 65; about one in 10 people over age 65 has Alzheimer’s disease and nearly half of all people over age 85 are affected.

Symptoms and Disease Progression

The earliest symptom of Alzheimer’s is subtle memory loss, especially difficulty remembering recently learned information. Other memory problems include difficulty finding words, not…

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