& Alzheimer's Disease
What is a Genetic Predisposition?
Genetic mutations or changes in an individual’s DNA can increase their risk of developing certain diseases, referred to as a “Genetic Predisposition”. These mutations can be inherited from a person’s parents, or they can develop spontaneously during a person’s lifetime.
How does genetic sequencing help in the case of Alzheimer's disease?
Sequencing an individual’s DNA to learn if they have a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s can help in the treatment and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease in several ways.
DNA sequencing can identify genetic variations that are associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This information can help healthcare providers identify individuals who may be at higher risk for the condition, allowing for personalised treatment plans to take steps to prevent or delay the onset of the disease and assist in earlier diagnosis resulting in better treatment outcomes.
DNA sequencing can also help identify specific genetic variations that may be associated with the development of more severe forms of Alzheimer’s disease. This information can be used to tailor treatment plans and medications to individual patients, potentially improving their outcomes and slowing the progression of the disease.
Gain insight into your own genetic predisposition.
Chris Hemsworth on his Alzheimer's predisposition. Read our case study below!
Case Study: Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth announced that a genetic test revealed he has two copies of the ApoE4 gene, which increases his chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The first important thing to note is that this is NOT an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
While the APOE4 gene is considered to be the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, it does not guarantee a person will develop Alzheimer’s.
25% of people carry one copy of ApoE4, which means they’re 2-3x more likely than somebody without the gene to develop Alzheimer’s. Chris’ genetic test showed that he carries two copies, meaning he’s 8-12x more likely to develop the disease than someone without the gene.
However, having this information is actually an incredibly powerful tool. Having this insight into his genetic disease risk will enable him to make informed decisions about his health and lifestyle, and he can employ available preventative measures to help reduce his disease risk.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Chris Hemsworth talks about his ApoE4 finding as a “blessing”, stating that he can now “begin taking steps to manage the risk, maintain physical and mental health, and perhaps stave off the development of the disorder for as long as possible”