According to 23andme I have a 12.6% probability of getting Alzheimer’s vs 7.2% in the average population.
They base that judgement on the current research that indicates that having an ApoE4 allele increases the risk of getting Alzheimer’s. Having two of the ApoE4 alleles seems to be worse - I only have one.
So, does that make me scared?
No, not at all. I read a paper that estimated that I would get Alzheimer’s at the age of 76 whereas the average could wait until 82. Who knows if I will even live that long and if so Alzheimer’s might be the least of my worries.
And it’s the current state of the research. Might turn out that ApoE4 isn’t the bad guy - or at least not on its own.
Would I rather not have known?
This is basically a question of wanting to get a 23andme test in the first place. Do you want to know what you might get or would you rather live in the dark.
I prefer to know. By knowing that I might have a higher risk I might get a change to do something to prevent it from happening. I might also be more alert to symptoms and therefore go to a doctor and get treated early on and potentially stop the progression - or the speed of the progression.
And funny enough, Alzheimer’s research starts to become an area of interest! And in order to help the research I have also published my 23andme file. The larger a pool of data with genotypes and the resulting phenotypes and diseases the more likely I think we are to find the link between certain genes and diseases - if they exist.
So for now I will keep a close eye on the direction of the ApoE4 research