Apolipoprotein (APO) is a type of protein that is produced in the body and detected in the DNA of any human being. There are 5 different genes of APO proteins (A, B, C, D, and E). The APOE genetic exists in 3 different forms (E2, E3, and E4). Everyone has 2 APOE genes, which could be any combination of E2, E3, and E4. For example, you could have an E3 and E2 gene. Why is this important to know? The different APOE genes have been tied to differing degrees of potentially developing Alzheimer's. E3 is the most common allele and is present in approximately 6/10 people. These people have an average risk of developing Alzheimer's. Individuals who show E2 alleles are very unlikely to develop Alzheimer's in the future, while those with E4 alleles are much more likely. As previously stated, everyone carries 2 of these alleles, so someone could have E2 and E4, E2 and E2, E4 and E4, etc.
Alzheimer's is a medical disorder where brain cells as well as their connections fail and die, causing the individual to eventually lose their memory. This disease is painless for the person who experiences it, though it can be extremely challenging and emotional for the person's friends and family members. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, there are many things that can be done in order to improve symptoms and better one's quality of life.
With advances in modern medicine, it is now possible to find out which APOE gene you carry, though some people are nervous to do so. It is possible for some people to feel some unrest about their potential to develop this disease. However, if your results are less than favorable, there are still some benefits of knowing what is going on within your body.
With all of the advances that have taken place in the field of medicine over the last few decades, there is no telling what will happen in the future. Finding out your APOE genetics could allow you to be a part of clinical trials, which could improve your odds of not developing the disease.
If you know that you are more likely to develop a disease than other people, you will likely be driven to take better care of yourself than the average person. Since APOE4 also increases one's odds of developing cardiovascular disease, lifestyle changes can greatly improve your health.
For more information, contact an APOE genetic service.