What if I have a change in a susceptibility gene for Alzheimer Disease?
As of June 2019, over 20 genes that are thought to lead to a susceptibility to develop Alzheimer Disease (AD) have been identified. The genetic variants identified in these susceptibility genes leads to a small increased risk for AD (less than 2% for most of the identified genes). It is important to realize that having a genetic variant in a susceptibility gene is not the same as having a mutation that actually is known to cause AD. Scientists are still doing active research to understand how the susceptibility genes may interact with genes that are known to cause AD. If you are found to have a change in a susceptibility gene for AD, it is important to know which gene was tested and what our current knowledge is about this gene. You may want to consult with a genetic counselor to understand more about any genetic testing results you have. Genetic counselors can be found on the National Society of Genetic Counselors website.
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How long do people live once they began developing symptoms of Alzheimer Disease?
Once a person develops symptoms of Alzheimer disease, they usually live 8 to 10 years. This varies from person to person. Some people who have Alzheimer disease will live more than ten years and others will live less than eight years. People with Alzheimer disease most often pass away from pneumonia and poor nutrition. Regular follow up with your neurologist and other healthcare specialists can ensure the person who has Alzheimer Disease is getting proper medical care and treatment. When AD becomes severe, a caregiver or living in an assisted living facility is helpful to ensure the person who has AD is being cared for appropriately.
How can I learn about how to pay for all of the costs associated with Alzheimer Disease?
The Alzheimer’s Association provides patients with resources to help them with their finances. You can learn about how to get the most out of your insurance but also it can help you prepare for the future. People who have Alzheimer Disease usually qualify for disability. Click here to learn more about applying for disability if you or a loved one has Alzheimer Disease.