Genetics and dementia: What's the connection?

The Bottom Line

  • Most dementias do not run in families or have a strongly genetic cause.
  • Routine genetic testing is not recommended.
  • Most dementias are due to a complex combination of our age, genes, environment, and other lifestyle and medical factors.
  • There are several genes – like APOE e4 – that may increase the chance of developing dementia.
  • Even with genetics as a risk factor, you can still benefit from a range of strategies to help reduce your risk of dementia and promote brain health.

In this webinar recording,  Drs. Tricia Woo and Anthony Levinson demystify the role that genetics and other non-modifiable risk factors play in a person's risk of developing dementia. Discover the difference between sporadic and familial Alzheimer's disease and learn about the role of susceptibility genes in increasing your risk. Learn about genetic testing and who should get a test. Explore how to reduce your risk, delay the onset, or slow the progression of dementia by addressing various modifiable risk factors to reduce damage to the brain and to increase capacity.



Learn the answers to the following questions:

  • 2:17 What is dementia?
  • 3:41 What causes dementia?
  • 4:16 What are the different types?
  • 6:00 What are the risk factors? 
  • 8:08 How does genetics influence the risk for dementia?
  • 19:20 Should you get a genetic test?
  • 21:27 How do you reduce your risk of developing dementia?
  • 39:45 Is there a link between adult ADHD and Alzheimer disease?
  • 42:13 What gene is involved in dementia for those who have Down syndrome, and can lifestyle factors help reduce their risk?
  • 44:50 How do concussions in early life increase the risk of dementia?
  • 46:39 Can tinnitus increase your risk of dementia? What is the role of hearing loss?
  • 48:35 I have a strong familial history of Alzheimer disease. Should I get genetic testing?
  • 49:45 Will genetic testing determine the exact type of dementia a person has?
  • 53:25 Is there research related to different populations, such as Asians, Black and Indigenous, and their genetic risk for dementia?

Download a transcript of this webinar presentation.

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This webinar was presented in collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Hamilton and Halton.

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