Risk Rises if 2 Parents Have Alzheimer's

4 in 10 get the disease if mom and dad had it, study finds
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2008 8:42 PM CDT
Jackie Lustig, 52, left, comforts her mother Jeannette Zeltzer, 81, who suffers from Alzheimer's. A new study finds people with two parents suffering from Alzheimer's run a higher risk of developing the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – People whose mom and dad have Alzheimer's run a much higher risk of getting the disease, a new study finds. Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle looked at 111 families in which both parents have Alzheimer's, and found that 42% of those aged 70 and up got the disease. Only one in 10 develop it in the general population, Reuters reports.

People usually develop Alzheimer's after turning 65, but only a third of those studied had reached 70. "The numbers will be interesting to follow as they get older and older," one researcher said. "I think it confirms that there's a strong genetic component in the disease and that's not a surprise."