So You Have the APOE4 Gene, Here’s What You Need to Know

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Have you undergone a genetic test only to find out that you have the APOE4 gene? Does the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and probably dementia scare you? It is true it’s one of the scariest thoughts. We, however, can’t change the genes inherited from our parents. It may feel like all hope is lost but it is not. A few things can help you feel better and approach the situation with courage. Take a moment to read this article and learn what you can do to prepare if you’re diagnosed with the APOE4 gene.

APOE4 Gene is Not a Sentence for Developing Alzheimer’s

The APOE gene plays a vital role in forming a protein that helps carry cholesterol through the bloodstream. APOE has also been linked with influencing a person’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s. The APOE4 variant raises a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. We inherit two versions of the gene, one from the mother and the other from the father.

Approximately 25% of people carry one copy of the APOE4 gene, which increases their chances of developing Alzheimer’s by 2 to 3 times. 2% to 3% of people with two copies of APOE4 genes are said to be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 10 to 12 times. Having the APOE4 gene is associated with the early onset of the disease. The APOE4 gene causes changes in cholesterol which damage brain cells or cause inflammation in the brain, which could result in dementia.

But does the existence of the APOE4 gene guarantee development of Alzheimer’s and lead to dementia? Having either one or two copies of the APOE4 gene variant does not mean you will develop Alzheimer’s disease. The APOE4 gene is just one factor that increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease but is not a causal factor of the disease. Medical reports show that some people with the APOE4 gene variant are never diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. On the contrary, many people without APOE4 are reported to develop Alzheimer’s.

Paid Alzheimer’s Disease study for those with the APOE4/E4 gene. Click here for more information.

How APOE4 Gene Carriers Can Reduce Chances of Getting Alzheimer’s

Although there is no medically-proven treatment to ensure APOE4 gene carriers don’t develop Alzheimer’s, a few practices can help reduce the risk of developing the disease and dementia. Here are healthy habits that are key to reducing the risk of APOE4 gene carriers developing Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Healthy Eating

Consider preparing and sticking to a healthy diet plan. A nutritious, healthy diet will go a long way in minimizing the risks associated with the APOE4 gene variant and reducing the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Healthy diets have a significant impact on brain health. For instance, it is proven that eating fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, and fish, which are rich in Omega-3 fats, helps reduce inflammation.

  • Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits like exercising is vital in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Dementia directly affects brain functionality. Exercising endurance and strength training is important in helping the brain grow new connections between cells and developing your memory ability. Such a strategy is vital in protecting against memory loss.

You should also ensure you get enough sleep to help reduce stress and brain strain. Such healthy lifestyles help APOE4 gene carriers reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and possible dementia.

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption and Stop Smoking

Consider limiting your alcohol intake to reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. You should also ensure you quit smoking as it affects your brain and accelerates inflammation.

  • Active Brain Activities

Engage in activities that help the brain to become more resilient. For instance, education is one of the best ways to lower a person’s risk for dementia. The more knowledge you get, you build up more cognitive reserve. Therefore, keeping your brain active greatly reduces the risk of APOE4 gene carriers from developing Alzheimer’s disease and possible dementia. You can consider furthering your education to keep your brain active consistently.

Test, Don’t Guess

Being an APOE4 gene carrier is a reminder to take caution to avoid developing Alzheimer’s disease and possible dementia. There are many recommended approaches like dietary and lifestyle habits. Always consider your metabolic predispositions and prepare a diet plan that helps keep both blood sugar and cholesterol manageable. What works for someone else is not a guarantee that it will work for your body. You should consult your doctor for the best guide on a diet plan.

You should also continuously monitor your cholesterol levels. Those with the APOE4 gene tend to have high cholesterol, which leads to dementia. Knowing your cholesterol level is important in understanding the best diet to avoid developing Alzheimer’s disease and possible dementia.

Take Away

The existence of the APOE4 gene can be discouraging, especially when you think about developing Alzheimer’s disease. Understandably, being diagnosed with the APOE4 gene should encourage you to be open to making lifestyle changes to protect you against developing the disease. A recommended health diet plan and lifestyle are aimed at helping you get better. Currently, there is no medically proven method of preventing Alzheimer’s disease. It’s best to consult with your doctor so they could recommend diet and lifestyle changes to avoid further complications. The existence of the APOE4 gene does not guarantee that one will develop Alzheimer’s disease, and it is enough hope not to give up. Ensure you take necessary caution and don’t panic. Studies have proven that some people with APOE4 genes do not automatically develop Alzheimer’s disease. However, realizing that the risk of developing the disease is higher is important but should not be a cause for alarm.

Paid Alzheimer’s Disease study for those with the APOE4/E4 gene. Click here for more information.