...to introduce myself. I just checked my forum activity and have realized I have lurked for nearly a whole year. Too many times over that year I've wanted to jump in on a post but realized it would be butting in rudely without first saying hi.
I am a 58 y.o. E4/E4 female with (as far as I can tell) fully functioning cognitive abilities. My Apo E status I found out through 23&me, probably 2 years ago. I remember being unexpectedly shocked, since I thought I was pretty immune to the emotional impacts of the news as I was a biochemistry major (back in the pleistocene), have a PhD in molecular biology, and have spent my entire professional life in the biomedical sciences. Therefore, I have a very good toolkit for the intellectual understanding of the results; not so much the emotions. My first thoughts were "OMG, I'm going to be that lonley little old (demented) lady who is found alone dead in her house half eaten by her cats!!!"
I have since calmed down.
Thanks in part to this site, which I stumbled upon through the Wiki while searching for any links between E4/E4 and hypertension. Turns out that was one anomolous BP reading (it was 116F in the shade that day) and my BP is fine. I have browsed the Primer, which for me was more of a refresher of second year biochem (updated, of course a lot has happened since the pleistocene) than new material. But it does put it all in context.
My family history doesn't lean too much into dementia - there were a few instances, Mum's mum in her mid 80s - although it was never diagnosed as Alzheimers, but "senile dementia" and Dad's mum actually diagnosed with Alzheimers, again in her mid 80s. However, all the men for generations exited via strokes, and until modern medicine, in their mid 50s to mid 60s. My father and his father made it to their 80s. So I am more concerned with the cardiovascular implications of being E4/E4 having seen my father, who made it to age 82 running or biking every day, eating a Mediterranean-adjacent diet, never smoking, drinking very moderately, etc etc and still having a horrible last 2 years of strokes of varying intesities (and a constellation of cardiac problems). If he, who practically lived the textbook lifestyle couldn't make it to 85 in one piece, what hope was there for me, who spent 20 years ignoring the good lifestyle examples my parents set me?
A couple of thoughts sustain me. We are more than our DNA - we are complex organisms that probably are best understood wholistically. Much as my reductionist scientific training would love to latch onto a "single" causative agent. Secondly, knowledge is in constant flux, so fixating on the single causative agent du jour is doubly counterproductive.
So what I intend to do - and I'm paraphrasing here - eat well (in the healthy sense), play well, sleep well. And don't sweat the minutiae.