ApoE is a gene and there are three different alleles or variants of that gene: ApoE2, ApoE3, and ApoE4. Every person is born with two copies of ApoE, one from each parent. There are many factors that contribute to why some people get Alzheimer’s disease, but one of the most important genetic factors are your ApoE alleles. So for example, a person may have one copy of ApoE 2 and one copy of ApoE3, and we would classify that person as having ApoE2/3. According to the most current research, ApoE2 is the rarest and seems to carry the least risk for Alzheimer's. ApoE3 seems to carry neutral risk. According to a large body of evidence, ApoE4 carries a very high risk for Alzheimer's and is the strongest known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
75 million Americans have one copy of ApoE4 and 7 million Americans have two copies of ApoE4. Here are your chances of getting the disease if you take no steps to improve your cognitive health:
- With 0 copies of ApoE4 your chance of getting the disease is still about 9%.
- With 1 copy of ApoE4 your chance of getting the disease is about 30%.
- With 2 copies of ApoE4 your chances of getting the disease is as high as 90%.
The good news is that with all of these scenarios your odds of preventing the disease can be dramatically improved with implementation of the Bredesen Protocol. Individuals on this protocol who have 2 copies of ApoE4 and developed the disease have been able to reverse the disease by using the protocol and are now back to living healthy lives. The key is early intervention and beginning a healthy lifestyle.
Learning your genetic risk can be scary, but we walk you through this process during your program. We believe that genetic risk is something every person should know so they can take steps early in life to make sure they do not get the disease. If your parent has Alzheimer’s, we recommend you obtain your ApoE score to see what steps you should take now to make sure you do not develop the disease.