People who have a gene for apolipoprotein E-4 (ApoE-4) may be more likely to develop the disease, but the presence of the gene cannot predict for sure whether a person will develop Alzheimer's disease. Many people who have the ApoE-4 gene do not get Alzheimer's disease, and many people who do not have the gene still develop the disease.
At this time, routine genetic testing for ApoE-4 is not recommended.1 Knowing that a person has ApoE-4 means only that the person may be at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. There most likely are several other factors that contribute to whether a person develops the disease. Most experts do not consider ApoE-4 testing a necessary or useful part of evaluating a person with suspected Alzheimer's disease.
Genetic testing is being used mostly in research centres to decide whether the test may be useful for more general screening.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Andrew Swan, MD, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Peter J. Whitehouse, MD - Neurology|
|Last Revised||January 11, 2011|
Last Revised: January 11, 2012
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