DNA Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Test

Find out if you have the APOE gene variant linked to late on-set Alzheimer’s disease with this DNA test.



Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that gradually destroys memory and other important mental functions. The disease can be separated into two main groups, early-onset Alzheimer’s, and late-onset Alzheimer’s, based on when symptoms will appear. Majority of patients with Alzheimer’s have the late-onset form where symptoms generally appear after the age of 65.

Two abnormal structures found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s, plaques, and tangles, are thought to be responsible for the cell death and tissue loss associated with disease symptoms. While many genetic and environmental conditions have been linked to the development of late-onset Alzheimer’s genetic variation in the APOE gene is one of the strongest genetic risk factors. People who inherit the APOE e4 variant are at 3 to 15 times higher risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Find out if you are at risk with this simple DNA test.

The genetics

This DNA test detects the three genetic variants (alleles) of the APOE gene: APOE e2, APOE e3 and APOE e4. Each of us inherit two copies of each gene, one from each parent. An individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s depends on the combination of variants inherited.

  • APOE e2 is a relatively rare variant and appears to have a slightly protective effect against Alzheimer’s.
  • APOE e3 is the most common variant and does not contribute to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
  • APOE e4 is the risk variant associated with an increased risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s. Inheriting 2 copies of the e4 variant increases the lifetime risk of developing the disease by 10 to 15 times.

APOE variants and the associated risk

A summary of the possible APOE genotypes and the associated risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s.
• e2/e2 – reduced risk
• e2/e3 – reduced risk
• e2/e4 – 3X increased risk
• e3/e3 – does not affect your risk
• e3/e4 – 3X increased risk
• e4/e4 – 10X to 15X increased risk

It should be noted that while inheriting the APOE e4 variant increases an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s, some individuals with the risk allele never develop the disease. Also, others may develop Alzheimer’s disease despite not inheriting the e4 variant.

Early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Memory loss that disturbs daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks at home, at work or leisure
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgement


Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about this test.

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