5 Things You Should Know About The APOE Gene And Alzheimer's Disease

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5 Things You Should Know About The APOE Gene And Alzheimer's Disease

13 October 2018
 Categories: , Blog

Being aware of any risk factors you have for developing Alzheimer's can help you to mitigate your risks and prepare for the consequences of developing the disease.

You might want to consider Apoe genetic testing to gain some insights into your chances of developing Alzheimer's. The following are five important things you need to know about the APOE gene and Alzheimer's Disease if you're considering genetic testing.

1. APOE is responsible for metabolizing fats in the body

Every patient has Apolipoprotein E (APOE) in the body. APOE is an important substance that's used to repair tissues in the brain and maintain brain health. While every patient relies on APOE in the brain and throughout the body, some patients have a certain setup of the APOE gene that can make it more difficult for their body to maintain proper brain health and functioning. This leaves such patients more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

2. Every individual has two alleles of the APOE gene.

The APOE gene is made up of a set of two alleles. Each of these alleles can be the E2 allele, the E3 allele, or the E4 allele.

3. Having the E4 allele gene can put patients at risk of developing Alzheimer's

It is the E4 allele that shows that a patient has an increased likelihood of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease. A patient with the E4 allele can have a combination of either one E4 allele and one of the other allele types (E2 or E3) or two E4 alleles. Patients with two E4 alleles are most susceptible to late-onset Alzheimer's. 

4. Simply having the E4 allele of APOE does not guarantee that you will suffer from Alzheimer's

A lot of patients are reluctant to undergo testing because they feel they don't want to know if they are at risk. However, it's important to make a note of the fact that the presence of the E4 allele does not guarantee that a patient will develop late-onset Alzheimer's. Patients can mitigate their risks by adopting healthy habits that minimize the chances of Alzheimer's development if they find that they are susceptible to late-onset Alzheimer's because of their genes. 

5. Blood and saliva tests can now easily determine which alleles a patient has

A patient's APOE allele combination can easily be determined with a blood test or a saliva test. Statistics acquired from genetic testing so far have shown that 13.7 percent of the population shows a presence of the E4 allele.