Answers to Common Alzheimer’s Disease Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about Alzheimer’s disease and how to live with and manage the condition.

Is Alzheimer’s disease hereditary?

Dr. Larry Lawhorne discusses the hereditary component of Alzheimer’s disease. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


People often ask if they are at risk for Alzheimer’s if people in their family have the condition. The answer is complicated. There is a genetic component to Alzheimer's disease and across the globe, there are studies that show that certain chromosomal changes, certain changes in genetic makeup will increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease and some dementias. In the U.S. and especially in the Miami Valley, we don’t really have the strong familial patterns of inheritance for Alzheimer's disease. But if there is Alzheimer's disease in the family, you are at increased risk and you should talk with your doctor about how to prepare and plans to put in place.

There is genetic testing that can be done, but it is not helpful in predicting if you will get Alzheimer’s, and there is no cure. If you're not going to get this until you're 70 or 80 years old, you can do a lot of living between now and then.

Source: Larry Lawhorne, MD, Wright State Physicians; National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s Association