Dementia Community
If a parent has dementia does that mean I will get it too?
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Dementia is a descriptive term for a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a number of disorders that affect the brain. While memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, memory loss by itself does not mean that a person has dementia. The purpose of the community is to share support and information with Dementia patients, their loved ones, and caregivers. Topics in the community include: causes, clinical trials, complications, family issues, living with Dementia, prognosis, research, surgery, treatments.

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If a parent has dementia does that mean I will get it too?

My Mother, who is no longer with us had dementia and I saw what it did to her.  I moved her into my home
and took care of her until her doctor advised a skilled nursing home for her.  I visited her every day and
it was heartbreaking to see her decline.  Now I am really concerned that I will also get it too. I have been told that walking everyday is one way to stave off this  progressive disease.  Is there anything else I can do?
Your help would be very much appreciated.  Thank you.  joyanna 243
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What kind of dementia? From alz.org: Those who have a parent, brother, sister or child with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease. The risk increases if more than one family member has the illness. When diseases tend to run in families, either heredity (genetics) or environmental factors, or both, may play a role.

Exercise is a good way to prevent dementia. It improves blood flow to the brain. Diet may also help. A Mediterranean with relatively little red meat and many whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, and nuts, olive oil and other healthy fats may help prevent AD.

For some reason people in India get less AD than others. One theory is that it is their diet that is high in curcummin (from curry) which helps prevent AD due to its anti-inflammatory properties. People who engage in intellectual activities such as reading, playing board games, completing crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments, or regular social interaction show a reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease.

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Woa, nelly! Cheer up. There is absolutely no reason to believe you will necessarily develop dementia simply because your mother did. There are numerous causes of dementia and Alzheimer's is but one cause. Nutritional deficiency, retroviral infections, tumors, strokes, and atheroschlerosis are other possibilities. Medications, especially those that lower cholesterol, have also been suggested as possible causes (memory is stored in cholesterol-like substances). While it may be statistically true that Alzeimer's patients have a higher incidence in a family this is not necessarily true for the many other etiologies for dementia.
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