SunnySideUp wrote:I am a 57yo female that received the dreaded 4/4 status from 23&me on April Fools day. Not funny!
A warm welcome to a virtual 4/4 "sister", SunnySideUp!
There is no good day to get that news, but April Fool's Day seems especially harsh. Hey folks at 23&me, you didn't think to embargo the results on Easter and April Fool's Day?
With the name you chose for yourself, I am guessing that even when things look grim, you naturally find some way to see the sunny side. If that's true, and if you're struggling for some rays of sunshine right now, I'll offer a few, both personal and scientific.
Your decision 7 years ago to join a gym, change your diet, and prioritize your health puts you literally years ahead of many of us, who somehow still are holding our own in our 60's. I'm 66 and a 4/4, and finished a second Master's degree at age 58 after "retiring" the year before. Would have been cheaper, and probably more effective to spend those hours at a gym, but we each find what works and is do-able for us, and also brings us joy. Joy in the midst of what seems like dreadful news doesn't come easily early on, but it does come.
There are more and more healthy, cognitively intact people with ApoE 3/4 and 4/4 on this site who are 55 and older--up to at least 80 years "young". Someone who is in his late 70's is an ombudsman for several assisted living facilities. Since you are dealing with the issue of telling your children and siblings, you may want to read his thoughts on telling his family, and the thoughts of others on that topic here. Tell my children or not?
or Anna's more recent thread on Thoughts on Disclosure (Who have you told?)
You may also want to consider signing up for Long-Term Care Insurance before you tell your doctor (or ask the Dr. not to put it in your chart. I did, and my Dr. was fine with that.) My husband and I bought LTC insurance through his employer before he retired, and keep the payments up now. He is a 3/3, but we both had mother's with dementia, and it seems like a good investment, even though it is neither feasible nor wanted by everyone.
Reaching for a word once a day doesn't come anywhere close to the definition of mild cognitive impairment. I know, because I am participating in a clinical trial for 4/4's ages 60-75 who are cognitively healthy and we get tested 4x/year on LOTS of skills. "Never has word-retrieval problems" is not one of the benchmarks we have to hit! Normal reductions of about 10% between ages 40-60 in processing speed (whether catching a ball or coming up with a word) have little or nothing to do with difficulty in forming new memories, in planning, organizing, flexible problem-solving, social engagement, etc.
Many people of your parents' and my parents' generation, and their parents, lacked protective factors that are associated with a delayed or prevented diagnosis of either mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. The women were less likely to have college, or sometimes even HS educations; they were less likely to have careful monitoring of high blood pressure, screening for insulin resistance or even diabetes, control of diabetes if diagnosed, recognition of coronary heart disease, treatment of mental health issues, exposure to clean water and air, especially if living near or working in factories.
The science isn't settled yet on many issues, yet I think those of us who muddled through menopause without hormone replacement therapy, and now which it wasn't too late to get the patch--have mostly still found that once past the late 50's, our thinking became clearer, our brains much less foggy, our sleep much better and our sense of ourselves returned. Here's a link to a long thread (conversation) on HRT that might be of interest to you. Hormone Replacement Therapy E4 Women
Lots of wise and kind people will welcome you. Among them are Health Coaches doing practicums, who are available for some private coaching.
Feel free to keep posting and sharing as you get used to this news, and know that we are all rooting for you, your brother, your other siblings, you husband and kids. They are all lucky to have your love and concern for them.