What If Dementia Is In Our Genes?

Published: 22/05/2019

We know from surveys that dementia has become the most feared condition, overtaking cancer, among people over 45

Written by: Ken Oxley  
Alzheimer's Society  
North East & Cumbria  

We know from surveys that dementia has become the most feared condition, overtaking cancer, among people over 45.
Now new research could lead those younger still to worry the disease will affect them. It was revealed this week scientists have identified ‘risky’ genes that cause some people to be more susceptible to memory problems. (Read Article)
The thought that we are born with a predisposition to dementia might seem scary, but it’s not necessarily bad news.

Studies carried out at America’s prestigious Harvard Medical School give rise to hopes that those most likely to develop the disease could be identified at an early age.
And this could provide vital time for treatments to be given to delay the onset. Indeed, there are promising clinical trials underway that may prove effective in slowing down the disease’s progression.
Whilst we have no control over our genes, we can still take steps to reduce our risk of dementia.
Here are some Alzheimer’s Society recommendations;
  • Exercise. Research shows physical activity – enough to break into a sweat – for 30 minutes, five times a week, improves memory.
  • Have your blood pressure checked. If it is too high, speak to your GP about ways to reduce it.
  • Quit smoking, reduce alcohol intake and eat a healthy diet.
  • If you have diabletes, make sure you manage it well. There is a strong link between type 2 diabetes and dementia.
  • Keep your brain active – reading or doing puzzles can help.
Ken Oxley is the Media Officer for the Alzheimer’s Society in the North East and Cumbria. For information about the charity’s services call 01642 442030 or visit our website.

About Alzheimer’s Society 
  • Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity. 
  • Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to two million people by 2051.
  • 225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes.
  • Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 Billion per year. This is the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia. 
  • Alzheimer’s Society funds research into the cause, care, cure and prevention of all types of dementia and has committed to spend at least £100 million on research over the next decade.
  • Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them. 
  • Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Alzheimer’s Society supports people to live well with dementia today and funds research to find a cure for tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0330 333 0804 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk