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Is Memory Loss Genetic?

woman in a senior living community considers if memory loss is genetic

“Is memory loss genetic?” is a common question among those whose relatives have had Alzheimer’s or dementia-related issues. As you grow older, some degree of memory loss and decline in cognitive functions is considered normal. This could include forgetting someone’s name (and remembering it later) or misplacing one’s keys. However, memory problems that disrupt one’s ability to perform daily tasks are a serious concern. While certain genetics do affect memory loss, the symptoms can be treated and managed by investing in a long-term care plan. If your loved one is showing symptoms of memory loss, reach out to learn more about Ventana’s memory services for seniors in Dallas, Texas.

Moderate to severe memory loss and cognitive decline can impair an individual’s normal functioning and place a significant burden on caregivers. Thus, by shifting to a senior living home with specialized Memory Care services, the member’s well-being and life expectancy can be considerably increased. To learn more about preventive measures, long-term care services, and how genetics affect memory loss, call us at 214.225.6197.

Is Memory Loss Genetic?

Before delving into the question of “does memory loss run in the family?” it is important to understand the differences between dementia and aging-related memory loss. Some degree of memory loss is considered a normal part of aging, and certain causes of memory loss can be easily treated.

What Is Memory Loss?

Memory loss can include occasional forgetfulness or the loss of short-term/long-term memory that gets progressively worse over time. Memory loss can have several underlying causes, such as:

  • Medication
  • Substance abuse
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Strokes
  • Traumatic injury
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Dementia

Many cases of memory loss are temporary and can easily be treated. However, for dementia or other progressive memory disorders, long-term planning is required to decrease or manage the symptoms.

Do Genetics Affect Memory Loss?

Studies show that genetics do affect memory loss. For instance, a gene called apolipoprotein E is associated with Alzheimer’s. Thus, individuals who inherit one (or more) copies of the gene are at greater risk.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should go in for genetic testing right away. Genetics only suggest the likelihood of developing a certain disease; they aren’t a definite prediction. It is possible to have that gene and not develop Alzheimer’s.

In fact, studies have shown that by modifying one’s lifestyle, getting enough exercise, and following a diet, you can stave off age-related dementia even if you carry certain genes.

Does Memory Loss Run in the Family?

Memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s affect not just the individual but their entire family. As the condition gets progressively worse, the burden of care on the family members keeps increasing.

While having a second- or first-degree relative might increase the risk of developing dementia or related disorders, it does not conclusively prove whether or not you will actually develop the disease. Similarly, the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s increases with age but does not guarantee its manifestation.

Thus, if you’re worried if memory loss runs in the family, you can invest in healthy lifestyle changes to decrease the risk factors. By keeping your brain and body active, socializing with loved ones, and minimizing alcohol consumption and smoking, you can reduce the risk of developing severe memory-related disorders.

Find Personalized Memory Care Services at Ventana

At Ventana, we offer a variety of personalized senior living services in Dallas, Texas. At our thoughtfully-designed retirement community, members can opt for Independent Living, Assisted Living, or specialized Memory Care services depending on their unique needs. With a host of amenities, around-the-clock skilled nursing care, and activities to promote well-being and connection, we take every step to improve the quality of life for the seniors in our community.

Call us at 214.225.6197 and give your loved ones the highest quality of care, comfort, and security.