How Being a Health Care Clinic Volunteer Changed My Life

At Risk for Alzheimer's? Four Reasons You Need APOE Genetic Testing

by Brett Mills

If you're worried about the risk of developing Alzheimer's, you have reason to be. According to statistics, roughly 44 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease. The same statistics show that only about 1 in 4 people who have Alzheimer's have been properly diagnosed. That means that 3 out of 4 people may be carrying the disease, but not know it. Luckily, testing is available that can help you identify your risk for developing the disease. These tests help isolate the APOE genes within your body, which are the genes responsible for Alzheimer's. Here are just three of the reasons why you should consider APOE genetic testing.

Check for Genetic Predisposition

When it comes to Alzheimer's, there's only one way to know for sure whether you're at risk for the disease, and that's through genetic testing. Through genetic testing, doctors can determine the type of APOE genes you carry. APOE genes come in three different types: APOE2, E3, and E4. The E2 gene helps reduce your risk of the disease, while the E4 type increases your risk of the disease. APOE testing ensures the proper identification of your genes, which helps determine your risk for developing Alzheimer's.

Early Access to Medical Treatment

Alzheimer's isn't always easy to diagnose. In fact, sometimes diagnosis takes so long that treatment is delayed. Unfortunately, when treatment is delayed, valuable time is lost, which allows the disease to progress at a rapid speed. One of the benefits of APOE genetic testing is that it identifies your risk quickly enough for you to receive early access to medical treatment, which can slow down the progression of the disease.

Opportunity for Clinical Trials

Research is being done to find effective treatments for Alzheimer's. Clinical trials are a vital part of the research process. If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, or you're at risk for developing the disease, clinical trials are a way for you to assist in the research. APOE genetic testing can help provide you with opportunities to participate in clinical trials.

If you're at risk for Alzheimer's, it's time to take a look at your genetic makeup. APOE testing is one of the most important steps you can take to help identify your risk for developing this debilitating disease. For questions or concerns about genetic testing, talk to your primary care physician as soon as possible. Early detection of the APOE gene can help you get the treatment you need.