Is Alzheimer’s disease hereditary? What should we be aware of?

The jury is still out on this one. Scientists now tell us that if you have a blood relative who has Alzheimer’s, your chances of getting it are much greater than someone who doesn’t.

This does not mean, however, that if you have more than one relative with Alzheimer’s, your family has one of the forms of the disease that apparently could be strongly inherited.

A good place to look for more information on this topic is the website of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. (http://www.alzheimer.ca) There is a lot of detailed information about genetic research and Alzheimer’s here.

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, it’s best to deal with the situation in a constructive way. As difficult as it might be, you should not worry about something that might or might not happen, ruining your quality of life in the process. People have become debilitated by the fear of possibly inheriting Alzheimer’s. Don’t fall into this trap.

Put your thoughts into a journal. Obtain professional counseling if your normal routines start to fall apart. Whatever you do, don’t try to deal with this alone. Your best support group will probably be friends and family, so keep them near. Join a formal support group (and start one if there’s not one available for you).

Even if it you just wind up going for coffee with a friend or relative, that’s a start that can be built upon. You need to talk about Alzheimer’s after it has entered your life (in whatever manner it does). Talking with others in a similar situation can be especially helpful since they will understand what you are going through and vice versa.

There are many beneficial resources available in the Indispensible Alzheimer’s Resource Kit including resources to assist you in journaling.