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Apoe 4 gene
Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 1:32 PM
Joined: 8/12/2019
Posts: 38

Hello, I have a question about the inheritance of the apoe4 gene. If my mother has Alzheimer’s and she has 2 copies of the apoe4 gene and my dead is healthy and has no copy of the apoe4 gene, is it possible to inherit both apoe4 copies from my mother, or can I only inherit 1 copy of this gene?
Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 4:03 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5138

You can inherit only one copy of the apoe4 gene from your mother.
Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2022 9:40 PM
Joined: 12/2/2021
Posts: 3

I am new to the forums--not to alz as my mom has been diag for months, if not exhibiting behavior for 2 years. I am not familiar with the apoe4 gene, and would like to know what the significance is of inheriting one or possibly 2 genes from your parent(s). If I only have one from my mother, does that mean my chances are less likely of developing dementia? If I have 2 does that secure my path down lack-of-memory-lane? Trying to be educated before I attend a neuro appt with mom this week. Lisa
Lane Simonian
Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2022 9:55 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5138

If you inherit two copies of the apoe4 gene your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease are greater than if you inherit one copy of the apoe4 gene.  Having two copies of the gene does not guarantee memory loss, however.

The role of the apoe4 gene in Alzheimer's disease has been subject to a lot of debate.  The best explanation of its role may be this: apoe4 increases the size of lipid rafts (composed in part of cholesterol), which amplifies the effects of triggers that lead to the onset and early progression of Alzheimer's disease.  

The apoe4 gene is not then itself a trigger for Alzheimer's disease but instead amplifies the impact of primary triggers such as diabetes or exposure to high levels of air pollution and secondary triggers such as misfolded amyloid and tau proteins.  In part, this explains why one person with one or two copies of the apoe4 gene can develop Alzheimer's disease while another does not.

Wishing the best for your mother and you.

Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2022 11:55 AM
Joined: 1/25/2018
Posts: 755

My poor granddaughter has a grandmother and great-grandmothers on both sides who developed EOAD.  She doesn't want to get tested since there is very little she isn't already doing to make much difference to her chances of developing AD, and knowing would just make her miserable. Not to mention how that information could effect her options in the future.