We invite you to be part of this enriching exploration of genetic factors influencing brain health in our upcoming webinar, “Know Your Genes: How Family History Affects Brain Health.”
Renowned experts in Alzheimer’s and dementia, Dr. Kacie Deters and Dr. Jessica Swerling unite with us to delve into the impact of genetics on neurodegenerative disorders. Cutting-edge advancements in the field will be explored as well.
The influence of genetics on neurological health: The connection to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and various dementia types
Our genetic lineage significantly influences the likelihood of us encountering diverse health issues, particularly neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and different types of dementia.
Genetic history can sway our neurological well-being and underscore the cruciality of comprehending this correlation.
Genetics shape the probability of encountering brain-related disorders.
Although the precise genetic processes implicated in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s continue to be investigated, specific genes have been identified that correlate with an amplified vulnerability to these conditions.
Genes associated with early-onset Alzheimer’s include APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2. The gene APOE is associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s.
It’s crucial to understand that genetic inclination does not necessarily mean the onset of these disorders, but it can heighten the risk.
Huntington’s disease represents a genetic neurodegenerative condition brought about by alterations in the HTT gene.
This genetic change is transmitted via an autosomal dominant method. That means that if a parent possesses this mutated gene, there’s a 50% likelihood of passing it to their offspring.
The mutation in the HTT gene triggers the formation of a defective variant of the Huntington protein, which progressively inflicts harm on specific brain cell regions.
Consequently, those with a familial background of Huntington’s disease are susceptible to inheriting this mutation and subsequently developing the disorder.
Genetic testing makes it possible to precisely determine if an individual carries this HTT gene mutation, empowering them with vital information for future healthcare choices and family planning decisions.
While Parkinson’s disease also exhibits a genetic aspect, most cases are not strictly hereditary. Genetic alterations in genes such as LRRK2, SNCA, and PARK2 have been linked to instances of Parkinson’s disease within families.
Nonetheless, most Parkinson’s instances are sporadic, meaning that most cases appear without an evident genetic connection.
The process of identifying Huntington’s disease necessitates an in-depth physical and neurological assessment, given that other conditions may provoke similar symptoms.
Frequently, a familial history of the condition serves as a noteworthy sign. Specialized blood tests can gauge the probability of developing Huntington’s disease by examining the existence of the HTT gene mutation.
Further, imaging tests like CT scans can measure the extent of brain cell damage and tissue loss, and other tools like MRI or PET scans might be employed during the diagnostic procedure.
These diverse methodologies and examinations support medical professionals in making accurate diagnoses of Huntington’s disease, thereby facilitating the development of suitable care and treatment strategies for patients and their families.
The determination of Parkinson’s disease predominantly hinges on an exhaustive review of the patient’s medical history and an all-encompassing neurological evaluation.
There are currently no distinctive blood or laboratory tests to diagnose non-genetic instances of Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, several disorders, such as multiple system atrophy and dementia with Lewy bodies, can generate symptoms akin to Parkinson’s disease.
These conditions, termed parkinsonism, might initially be misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s. But if an individual’s symptoms improve after the medication is initiated, it can solidify the diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
It’s critical to achieve an accurate diagnosis as swiftly as feasible, given that different diseases might exhibit similar characteristics but necessitate unique treatment strategies.
Although genetics are pivotal in disease development, the common environment and lifestyle practices within a family can also increase the likelihood of neurological disorders.
Families frequently mimic each other’s habits and dietary tendencies and are often exposed to similar environmental elements. These are all contributing factors influencing neurological well-being.
A health-conscious lifestyle can diminish the probability of developing neurological disorders, even for those with a familial predisposition.
Regular physical activity, a well-rounded diet abundant in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, mental challenges, and socialization have all been associated with enhanced neurological health and a decreased risk of dementia.
Comprehending your genetic heritage and its possible influence on neurological health is vital for prompt recognition and treatment.
If your family history includes Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or various types of dementia, be mindful of the early indicators and seek advice from healthcare experts.
Genetic testing can offer insight into a person’s genetic predisposition for specific neurological disorders. Seek genetic counseling to comprehend test results fully, estimate risk factors accurately, and make well-informed health-related decisions.
Our new THRIVE program is specifically designed for new and current residents with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders.
Through a combination of activities for the body and mind, we help our residents improve posture, balance, strength, circulation, muscle control and mobility.
The THRIVE program features:
- Wellness classes at least 4x per week
- Body movement programs such as yoga, tai chi and dance
- Creative Journaling and expressive arts
- Music therapy with a board-certified music therapist
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Specialized exercise with wellness equipment such as ALinker walking-bike
- Specially trained team members, including dedicated medical technicians for timely delivery of medications
- Ongoing educational events, guest lectures and resources for residents and families
We maintain Our Promise by continually keeping up with the most recent medical breakthroughs and incorporating them into our tailored care strategies for residents.
We hope you’ll join us for “Know Your Genes: How Family History Affects Brain Health” to delve deeper into understanding genetics and neurodegenerative diseases.