Is Dementia Hereditary?
When caring for dementia patients, the question is often raised as “Is Dementia Hereditary?”. Patients experience short-term, gradual memory loss. Their intellect becomes almost child-like. The disease can be a long, slow decline. Often causing exhaustion and fatigue in loved ones caring for the patient, loved ones who find themselves questioning “Is Dementia Hereditary?” The caregiver, being exhausted, can wonder if she is losing her memory capabilities as well. She witnesses all of these signs firsthand. Observing these symptoms, the caregiver can give into her fear of inheriting them. The fear focus takes attention away from the task at hand which is providing the best care for the parent. Much of this fear is unfounded… but still the questions remain… Is Dementia Hereditary?
Is Dementia Hereditary? Dementia caused by Alzheimer’s most likely not hereditary
Alzheimer’s is the most diagnosed reason for dementia and thankfully, the majority of the time, Is Dementia Hereditary? no, it is not hereditary. This means that most likely a caregiver will not experience the same fate as her relative. Alzheimer’s is the primary cause of dementia in elderly patients. This disease commonly occurs in a person’s seventies or eighties, a clear argument against the old question “Is Dementia Hereditary?” In 99% of cases there are no characteristics of this disease passed down to children and grandchildren. This fact should bring some relief to relatives as they see their loved one deteriorate. In very rare cases, Alzheimer’s can be passed down through genetics. This usually stems from a mutated gene in one or both parents.
Is Dementia Hereditary? Dementia not caused by Alzheimer’s more likely hereditary, so Is Dementia Hereditary? … in this instance we could assume yes!
Dementia can be caused by diseases other than Alzheimer’s. Vascular disease, Parkinson’s, heart strokes and Huntington’s disease also cause dementia in many patients, which add weight to the question Is Dementia Hereditary? These diseases have dementia as a symptom among other more pronounced physical symptoms. The root cause for these diseases are single genes that are dormant. If a person is born with this gene, the odds are great that they will get dementia, but does this still really answer if Is Dementia Hereditary? The main determining factor is when and if they live long enough for the disease to show itself. The majority of dementia cases stem from old age. Another segment of dementia patients include those with FTD or Frontotemporal dementia. In these cases up to 50% of cases are inherited cases. A person can find out if they carry these genes through predictive testing. Some studies have shown that this testing has a severe psychological burden. The anticipation of disease is difficult to bear. It is best to have counseling included in testing and in helping with Alzheimer’s patients.
While many diseases cause dementia, Alzheimer’s caregivers should have virtually no worries when it comes to the question “Is Dementia Hereditary?”.
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