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Join Kensington Park Senior Living’s Free Online Event: Alzheimer’s Genetics – How Family History Affects Brain Health

Kensington Park Senior Living is dedicated to providing the best care and support for our residents—it’s part of Our Promise to care for your loved ones as if they were our own.

This promise also includes offering informative and educational events that can help shed light on age-related diseases and the growing fields of Alzheimer’s genetics.

For the next event in our continuing series of online discussions, we are excited to announce an upcoming free event that will explore the impact of family history on brain health, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s genetics in partnership with Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Care at UCLA.

Join us for this valuable learning opportunity featuring expert speakers discussing the latest research and clinical insights into this complex neurological condition.

Event details

  • Date: June 7, 2023
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:00pm EDT
  • Location: Online (Zoom)
  • Cost: Free

To register, please visit the event registration page.

Meet our expert speakers

This virtual event will feature two distinguished experts in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.

Together, Dr. Deters and Dr. Rexach will endeavor to provide valuable insights into the relationship between family history, genetics, and brain health, as well as discuss the role of genetics in frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s, and—in particular—Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Kacie Deters

Dr. Deters is an Assistant Professor at The Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care at UCLA. She earned her Ph.D. in Medical Neuroscience at Indiana University School of Medicine, centering on genetic and imaging characteristics of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Her lab at UCLA focuses on racial and ethnic disparities in predictors for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in older adults, primarily from the Black community.

Dr. Jessica Rexach

Dr. Rexach is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at UCLA and John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Endowed Chair. She completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell, MSTP physician-scientist training program at UCLA and Caltech, medical residency at Cedars Sinai and the WLAVA, and neurology residency and neurogenetics R25 fellowship at UCLA.

Her lab combines multi-omic, single-cell, and genomics methods with experimental disease modeling to study neuronal-glial and neuroimmune mechanisms in dementia, aiming to identify effective therapeutics.

Alzheimer’s genetics fact sheet

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder—meaning it will get worse over time.

The disease affects memory, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Among older adults, Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent form of dementia.

It’s believed that genetics plays a pivotal role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, with both early-onset and late-onset forms having a genetic component.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease affects individuals under 65 and accounts for less than 10% of all Alzheimer’s cases. This form of disease often has a strong genetic link.

Researchers have identified three genes in which mutations can cause early-onset Alzheimer’s: APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2.

Mutations like these are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, meaning that inheriting one copy of the mutated gene from either parent is sufficient to develop the disease.

However, not all cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s are caused by these gene mutations. In some instances, the cause remains unknown, indicating that other genetic/environmental factors may contribute to the disease’s development.

Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease

Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which affects individuals aged 65 and older, is more common and accounts for the majority of Alzheimer’s cases.

The genetic component of late-onset Alzheimer’s is complex, involving multiple genes with varying effects on disease risk.

The apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is a known genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s. There are three forms of the APOE gene: APOE-ε2, APOE-ε3, and APOE-ε4.

The APOE-ε4 variant increases a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s, while the APOE-ε2 variant appears to reduce the risk.

However, carrying the APOE-ε4 variant does not guarantee that an individual will develop Alzheimer’s, nor does the absence of the variant mean they will not.

As you can see, predicting Alzheimer’s through genetic testing is a complicated business.

Nonetheless, researchers have identified additional genes associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s, but their effects on disease risk are less significant than the APOE gene. These genes include ABCA7, CLU, CR1, and PICALM, among others.

Genetic testing and counseling

Genetic testing is now available for some of the genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, such as APP, PSEN1, PSEN2 (early-onset), and APOE (late-onset).

However, researchers often emphasize that genetic testing for Alzheimer’s is complex and not recommended for everyone.

Individuals considering genetic testing should consult with a genetic counselor to understand the potential benefits and limitations of testing, as well as the psychological and emotional implications of test results.

Ongoing research and future directions

Medical organizations like the National Institute on Aging (NIA) have strongly supported ongoing research in order to better understand the genetic basis of Alzheimer’s disease.

The NIA, along with the work of many other medical centers, aims to identify additional genetic risk factors, study gene-environment interactions, and investigate the underlying mechanisms of the disease.

The hope is that these efforts may lead to improved diagnostic tools, targeted treatments, and preventive strategies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn more about the link between family history and brain health

At Kensington Park Senior Living, we are committed to providing residents, their families, and all other loved ones with the resources and support they need to navigate the challenges of neurodegenerative diseases like frontotemporal dementia.

At our free online event, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about the latest research in frontotemporal dementia genetics and the importance of understanding your family history in maintaining brain health.

Every team member of Kensington Park Senior Living knows how much of an impact these diseases can have on our residents. It’s a big reason why we dedicate three levels specifically to dementia care and created our memory care communities.

These departments are crucial parts of Kensington Park. They’re designed to support those who are dealing with dementia issues—caregivers and residents alike—so they can continue enjoying the best possible quality of life.

We’re also devoted to sharing our knowledge and resources with families affected by dementia, so they can better interact with their loved ones. We look forward to welcoming you to our informative and engaging event.

Remember to RSVP to secure your spot on the event registration page.