Newcomer Bio - DNA Analysis Revealed APOE 3/4 on January 1, 2019

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
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Newcomer Bio - DNA Analysis Revealed APOE 3/4 on January 1, 2019

Postby FrostyLawman » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:18 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm a 31-year-old lifelong Alaskan. I served four years in the U.S. Army before returning to Alaska, where I earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Currently, I'm a full-time state investigator, investigating doctors and nurses for things like drug diversion, application fraud, and malpractice. I also continue to work part-time as a police officer at my former full-time agency, picking up 1-2 patrol shifts per month. Additionally, I recently became a state organizer for a national civil rights non-profit organization.

I have a wonderful wife whom I've known as my best friend since ninth grade and two awesome little boys (ages 10.5 and 2.5). In my free time I like to hike, bike, jog, lift weights, meditate, practice yoga, listen to NPR, read (both fiction and non-fiction), and watch sports (go Denver Broncos).

I have dealt with chronic depression for much of my adult life and, more recently, it has crippled my motivation, causing a significant reduction in my physical activity and a sharp increase in poor dietary choices. In the past two years, I have become increasingly overweight (approaching obese according to my BMI). Despite the struggles, I am a perpetual optimist and I continue to push forward. It helps that my wife is a licensed practicing counselor. As such, she routinely checks in with me when we're at home together, while also making sure I continue going to therapy to work on managing the depression in the presence of an objective mental health professional.

About six weeks ago, I ran across a book titled How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger. Referencing a ton of peer-reviewed scientific studies, Dr. Greger's work really opened my eyes to the short-term and long-term benefits of eating a plant-based diet while ditching meat, dairy, and eggs. I learned that my diet filled with processed meats, dairy, and eggs was increasing my chance of Alzheimer's. I always knew in the back of my mind that my diet had been out of whack for a long time, and I knew it increased my chances of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other serious ailments. Yet, I procrastinated and yo-yo dieted for years. This time, seeing the copious amounts of research packed into those pages turned out to be the reality check I needed to get over the hump. I went to the store and bought a ton of fruits and veggies, overhauling my diet.

Three weeks ago, my wife surprised me with an early Christmas present -- a 23andMe DNA kit. Yesterday, my results became available and, minutes later, I learned I'm an APOE 3/4. I have barely skimmed the surface of this finding, but it's my understanding I have a ~23% chance of having dementia at age 85 because I'm an APOE 3/4 (correct me if I'm wrong) versus 11% for someone without APOE4 alleles. I know that diet and exercises can be excellent mitigating factors, so I am redoubling my efforts to stick to proper routines this year. I want to live a nice long life to enjoy time with my wife, children, and future grandchildren.

I look forward to being a part of this community with all of you and learning as much as I can.

- Joel

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Re: Newcomer Bio - DNA Analysis Revealed APOE 3/4 on January 1, 2019

Postby Chameleon » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:24 am

Hi FrostyLawman!

Welcome to the APOE4 community! Glad you have joined us. Thank you for sharing your story.

It can be quite a surprise when someone finds out their APOE4 status, but since you are so young you can adopt a healthier lifestyle now (as you have started to do). Prevention is the key to this. Although you have the gene that can raise your risk, it is a matter of whether that gene will actually express itself. Lifestyle and habits can keep the gene inactive. So you are on the right track.

And food is an important component to all of this, which you are addressing. In addition to Dr. Greger's book, you may also want to look at "The End of Alzheimers" and "Memory Rescue" (among others). Getting some different perspectives on this could be a good thing. There are also links between food and depression as well. So eating cleaner may get you additional benefits.

As some of your first steps in our community, I would recommend exploring the Primer because it contains a ton of information. And I just want to point out you can search the Wiki for more targeted information.

I look forward to hearing more from you and I hope this site is helpful to you.

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Re: Newcomer Bio - DNA Analysis Revealed APOE 3/4 on January 1, 2019

Postby floramaria » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:59 pm

FrostyLawman wrote:I look forward to being a part of this community with all of you and learning as much as I can.

Welcome, FrostyLawman,
Chameleon’s suggestion that you start with the Primer is as great one. It provides an overview of the ApoE4 allele and is a wonderful resource, written by a physician member. It includes risks posed by ApoE4 and proven strategies for optimizing your chances of reducing any negative impact on your health. These strategies , including things like reducing stress, getting sufficient sleep, exercising regularly, as well as dietary changes are beneficial to your overall health as well as your cognitive health. The Primer also addresses some of the grey areas, where the information available now is not conclusive.

At 31, you are in a great position to make the changes that will benefit you and maintain your overall well-being throughout your life. You are already on your way, we look forward to your participation in the forums.

When you check the WiKi, there is a section on getting the most out of this website that offers some useful tips.One of those is using the search function which you can access either through the 3 dots to the right of your user name, or with the magnifying glass left of your name. That lets you find previous posts on topics that interest you.

There is a lot of information here, so take your time to read and digest, and give yourself the space to make changes gradually.
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IFM/ Bredesen Training in Reversing Cognitive Decline (March 2017)

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