Caring for Alzheimer's Patients: A Guide for Family and Healthcare Providers

By Gary D. Miner; Linda A. Winters-Miner et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Genetics and
Alzheimer's Disease

Paul A. Bell


INTRODUCTION

"No," said the neurologist, "it's not hereditary." That was in 1979 when my mother, aged sixty-five at the time, was diagnosed as having a "dementia, presumably of organic origin." Mom, my brother, and I talked or corresponded often but each of us lived a thousand miles from the others. We had noticed a gradual decline in Mom's cognitive abilities for about three years. Since we did not live close enough to her to observe her daily, and since she was nearing retirement, we were not overly concerned at first. When her short-term memory became alarmingly impaired, however, we forced her to have a thorough neurological workup. Just before her diagnosis, we became aware that her younger sister by four years and her older sister by ten years were also experiencing

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