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Early Memory Issues for Patients with Alzheimer’s in the Family

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological condition that most commonly affects patients as they reach their older years. However, new research indicates that those who have a history of Alzheimer’s in their family could start experiencing memory problems as early as in their 20s.

The study, published in the journal eLife and performed by researchers at the University of Arizona and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), used data collected by an online memory test called MindCrowd.

MindCrowd participants between the ages of 18 and 85 were analyzed. For every age group under 65, the impact of family history of Alzheimer’s disease was accounted for. In total, there were 59,571 participants.

On average, those under 65 with a family history of Alzheimer’s did not perform as well on the memory test when compared to those with no family history in the same age group. The effect appeared to be prevalent in participants with diabetes, those with less formal education, and men.

This study is the first of its kind to look into tangible warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which has been considered a hereditary disease that is passed on from one generation to the next.

By evaluating these risk factors and how family history is associated, early steps can be taken to help patients keep their brains sharp.

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