The Alzheimer’s Association lists Alzheimer’s Disease as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States; it affects more than 5.5 million individuals. Currently, there is no cure for this disease that affects a person’s memory and ability to think. Medicomp, innovators of first-rate Holter monitoring equipment, report on the newly discovered link between Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Scientists have discovered that the apolipoprotein E gene, also commonly referred to as as ApoE, is linked to both Alzheimer’s and heart disease. There are three different variants of this gene with every individual receiving two copies of the gene – one from their mother and one from their father. Of the e2, e3, and e4 variants, it is the e4 that comes with the increased risk for cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s.

A trial published in the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine took a look at 257 adults and their genetic makeup. Approximately 69 percent of the participants had a relative with Alzheimer’s, although none of the participants had symptoms of Alzheimer’s themselves.

Once the genetic testing came back, the adults were informed about their risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease, as well as how the ApoE gene connects to heart disease.  Dr. Christensen, one of the study’s authors, reported that the participants who learned about their increased risk of suffering a cardiovascular disease actually felt less stress than they did before the genetic testing was completed. They began to change their lifestyles by exercising and eating healthier. Although lifestyle changes have no effects on Alzheimer’s Disease, they do reduce a person’s chances of suffering a cardiovascular incident.

Patients may wish to have this genetic testing done so that they can use that knowledge as motivation to improve their overall health. Of course, it is important to discuss all dietary changes and exercising plans with a physician first for proper monitoring. Our state-of-the-art Holter monitoring is another great way to keep an eye on a patient’s heart health. Visit the News & Updates page for additional advice, or give us a call at 800-234-3278.