Health and Beauty

Senile Dementia Nhs

Genetics of dementia

Many people will be concerned about whether dementia can be inherited - that is, passed down from an affected relative. People with dementia might be worried that they have inherited it and may pass it on to their children. Family members of people with dementia, such as brothers and sisters, may also be worried that they are more likely to develop dementia themselves.

Genes are the means by which characteristics are passed down through families. They can play a role in the development of dementia, but their effects are complicated and how and whether dementia is passed down - the 'patterns of inheritance' - vary considerably. The information on these pages outlines what we currently know about the genetics of dementia and what it may mean for you.

It is important to understand that genes are only part of the picture. Whatever genes you may have inherited, most people can significantly reduce their chances of getting dementia through simple lifestyle choices. These include not smoking, taking regular physical exercise, eating a healthy diet and drinking alcohol only in moderation (if at all).