Most people wouldn't think twice about forgetting an item at the grocery store or misplacing their car keys; but for people like Anne Kolesar these minor lapses in memory can sometimes feel like potential warning signs, reminding her that she is at elevated genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease.
Anne is all too familiar with the effects of Alzheimer's, which has long afflicted her family. She watched as her father's mental faculties deteriorated prior to his death in 2004, and that experience only reinforced the fear that she felt, knowing that her grandmother and her aunt also suffered from Alzheimer's. Anne decided to face up to the lingering questions about her own vulnerability and she volunteered to participate in a research study that tested participants for APOE genetic variants, which are a potential indicator of risk for dementia.
Through the trial, she learned that she has one copy of the APOE4 variant, the gene linked to up to 25% of Alzheimer's cases, according to the Alzheimer's Association. This result confirmed what she already suspected, given her family history, but it also inspired her to take action.
Anne signed up for the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry, an online community of people who want to learn about, and potentially join, prevention trials. She is doing what she can to ensure that her son and other future generations don't have to live with the fear of Alzheimer's.