Hi, My name is Mark I am 61 years old and just found out tonight I have one copy of the e4 variant... I have been going back and forth on when to retire. With this news, I may just retire tomorrow. Looks like I won't need my money to last till 90
No more nursing homes for me. If the disease strikes I will go out on my terms. Let's pray there is a major breakthrough soon. I will be reading all I can to see what steps I can start now to hold this disease off as long as possible. Prayers to all!!!
You will receive lots of welcomes from our members, but I wanted to share a few quick thoughts:
First, you can certainly retire tomorrow if that makes sense! I found out that I was ApoE 4/4 when I was your age, and it felt like a gut punch. I was semi-retired, working as a consultant full-time for part of the year. Yet, I'm glad I didn't retire immediately and kept taking on new jobs until early 2015. By then I had one grandchild and another on the way, and had read enough to realize that I was not doomed to get Alzheimer's, even with two copies of ApoE 4 and a mother, several maternal aunts and a paternal grandmother who all had mixed dementia (vascular and Alzheimer's) in their 80's.
Here's some reasons why my fate will be different than their fates, I think:
1) I don't have the same risk factors they all had: uncontrolled high blood pressure, untreated diabetes, untreated anxiety and/or depression--although all were smart, capable women who endured hardship and suffering during a childhood in the Depression--probably like your mother and her brother.
2) I was lucky enough to have more education than my mother, which allowed me to have a challenging career with opportunities for problem-solving, new roles every few years, and lots of engagement with diverse people who taught me that we can't always choose the roads our lives take, but we can adapt our responses to find purpose and joy and feel empowered.
3) I am lucky to live in a country that cleaned up air and water pollution, took lead out of gas and paint and took chemicals out of food. My mother grew up in a poor neighborhood with 10 siblings and her early brain development may have been compromised because their were 13 mouths to feed (and she was the 12th).
Research meta-analyses of several thousands of people in four cohorts studied over decades in the U.S. and the Netherlands, (Including the famous Framingham Health Study), resulted in a 2017 prediction of the risk of either Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or dementia by the age of 85 (the average US lifespan) for people like you and me--those ages 60-75. Here's a quote:
APOE-related risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia for prevention trials: An analysis of four cohorts
The Generation Study elected to disclose the following “lifetime” risks of MCI or dementia to its potential participants: 30%–55% for individuals with APOE-e4/e4; 20%–25% for individuals with APOE-e3/e4 and -e2/e4 (with a note that risk might be lower for those with APOE-e2/e4); and 10%–15% for individuals with APOE-e3/e3, -e3/e2, and -e2/e2 (with a note that risk might be lower for those with APOE-e2/e3 and -e2/e2).
So at almost 67, I am still able to read scientific articles, and am in a clinical study which required that I be cognitively healthy to enroll 18 months ago, and have done no worse on the semi-annual tests since then. I have no guarantee that I will be among the 45-70% of people with ApoE 4/4 who do NOT get Alzheimer's. I only know that the more I learn about what we can control and how fast the science is progressing about both the disease itself and the methods to attack it, including lifestyle interventions, the more confident I feel.
So stick around, and see if you don't feel better also in a month or two!