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26 and 4/4

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
rara93
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26 and 4/4

Postby rara93 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:35 pm

Hello, I am new here so I apologize if I break any site rules. I just recently found out that I am 4/4 and I am very scared. Finding out at this age gives me lots of time for prevention, right? Someone please offer me some advice - I feel as if I have rec'd a death sentence.

TelopeaBlue
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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby TelopeaBlue » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:02 pm

rara93 wrote:Hello, I am new here so I apologize if I break any site rules. I just recently found out that I am 4/4 and I am very scared. Finding out at this age gives me lots of time for prevention, right? Someone please offer me some advice - I feel as if I have rec'd a death sentence.


Hi there rara93, welcome to the site. As a 4/4 who has lived more than twice as long as you, I'd say expending energy at your age on being scared is misdirection of effort ;) And there are 4/4s on here with decades on my 58 years who are living breathing evidence that this genotype is most assuredly not a death sentence. Genotype is not destiny. Being human is the result of many many many genes and environmental factors interacting. Think of the proverbial tangled ball of twine. I personally don't sweat the details, because they would make me crazy. On the plus side you have decades more that I had to live the best life to protect your brain (and as a bonus your cardiovascular system).

As the folks on here welcome you, they will point you to the primer and the Wiki, but I will paraphrase something I found on the https://www.apoe4.info/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=557 thread that really simplifies the situation, and that I found extremely useful for "getting a grip" at the start when the information can be truly overwhelming (and I came into this as a molecular biology PhD, so didn't have the steep learning curve with the DNA stuff that other members had to deal with) - thanks to Ski (formatting is mine for emphasis)
1.Excercise most days. 30 mins. Work up a sweat. It makes your body produce a hormone called BDNF that makes brain stem cells grow and makes brain cells make new connections and makes your hippocampus (where memory is stored) stay healthy and not shrink. Of course consult your Dr. before starting an exercise program as some people could have underlying health issues.
2. Stop ALL food with sugar (sucrose, which is made up of glucose and fructose ) except a couple of whole fruit servings a day. (Berries have been shown to be beneficial). This means all processed foods with sugar, including fruit juices (which is basically just the sugar) , also refined grains break down quickly to glucose in the body. High sugar (glucose) in the blood is toxic to our brains. Like seriously toxic.
3. Don't hit your head. Stop all sports that can do this. Its very bad for our brains.
4. Eat a wide variety of plant foods across the rainbow. Your diet should be mainly plant based like a Mediterranean diet. Don't bother with basic vitamins to start until.you get your diet cleaned up (except vitamin D3 to start) because its the plant foods you need with their millions of micronutrients for your brain. You can worry about fat, carb, protein ratios later. Its small print for you now. The priority is to increase your veggies and stop all refined carbohydrates and sugar. This will automatically make the protein content of your diet smaller. Most of us are shooting for about a 15 to 20% protein in our diets. Oily fish 3 times a week is shown to be protective. That's salmon, sardines. The fish itself is probably better than the oil extracted. Nuts yes. Avocado yes. Seeds yes. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) yes. Other plant oils no no no (its the omega 6s they cause inflammation.) Red meat very seldom and very small portions and try make it grass fed. Chicken sometimes (again small portion) and try make it free range, ditto eggs.
Classic Mediterranean diet is a good start. Every meal is heavily plant based.
5. Prioritize sleep. Our brains repair in sleep. Do not take sedating antihistamines to sleep. They are very bad for our brains ( they are part of a group of meds called anticholinergics that block stuff our brains need to function). Sleeping pills are probably not safe either. Melatonin is safe and probably beneficial. Use meditation to sleep if this isn't enough. You can also get blue light blocking spectacles to make your brain make its own melatonin at night. Works brilliantly.
6. Get your BMI into the healthy range if its not.
7. Keep your mind active, do something cognitively hard like try make sense of the forum!, learn a language, learn an instrument, learn line dancing. ..anything that makes new pathways in your brain. Stay connected socially with family and friends and new friends.


As you get more comfortable with the information you can delve as deep, or paddle as shallowly, as you wish. I hope this has helped.

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floramaria
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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby floramaria » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:55 pm

rara93 wrote:Hello, I am new here so I apologize if I break any site rules. I just recently found out that I am 4/4 and I am very scared. Finding out at this age gives me lots of time for prevention, right? Someone please offer me some advice - I feel as if I have rec'd a death sentence.

Hi rara93,
No need to apologize. There are few rules here other than basic courtesy and respect for others. TelopeaBlue makes several points that I just want to reinforce. Genetics are not destiny. It is understandable that you are scared. Most of us react that way at first, before we really understand the implications of the ApoE4 allele and all of the things we can do to reduce the potentially negative health impacts. 2 copies of the ApoE4 allele is far from being a death sentence. One way of interpreting the information is that you have just received an extremely early alert. This can help guide you towards healthy choices, longterm. You have SO MUCH TIME to learn and to find ways to support your optimal health. Personally, I think that by the time that you reach an age where Alzheimer’s would possibly manifest, Alzheimer’s will be so well understood that it will no longer be a threat; medicines that address the complex causes may have been developed and the specific interventions that are known to be valuable will be streamlined and supported by high tech solutions that are just starting to be developed and tested now. Research, acquisition of knowledge and development of treatment options are all proceeding so rapidly.
i encourage you to take a deep breath. Be assured that you are well positioned by your age to never be affected by Alzheimer’s.
Meanwhile reading the Primer is a great place to begin gaining more insights into preventative measures, as TeloPeaBlue suggested.
We are here to help you not freak out! Many here have reversed cognitive impairment in themselves. And many are following preventative measures and maintaining cognitive health into their 70’s and 80’s. There is a community here to support you. Feel free to ask questions.
also, I will point out that you can find previous posts any topic of interest to you by using our Search function, the magnifying glass to the left of your user name.
Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach
IFM/ Bredesen Training in Reversing Cognitive Decline (March 2017)
Qualified ReCODE Practitioner

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CoachMT
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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby CoachMT » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:41 pm

rara93 wrote:Hello, I am new here so I apologize if I break any site rules. I just recently found out that I am 4/4 and I am very scared. Finding out at this age gives me lots of time for prevention, right? Someone please offer me some advice - I feel as if I have rec'd a death sentence.


Welcome to the ApoE4.Info site rara93! I’m so glad you found this supportive community to share your ApoE4 status, express your concerns, and learn from the great resources available to you that can help you lead a long and healthy life. Please rest assured in knowing that you are not alone. Many are overwhelmed when they learn their ApoE4 status. We've had several young people such as yourself join us recently with similar responses to yours. As TelopeaBlue and Floramaria shared so beautifully and thoroughly, having ApoE4 increases one's risk of late onset Alzeheimer's, however our genes are not destiny, and we have the ability to turn them on and off! Luckily you have so much time on your side to make lifestyle changes than can protect your cognition and help you to lead a full, vibrant, and healthy life. You are in the right place to learn grow, gain support from the community, and chart your own healthy destiny!

As you are seeing after posting your comment and receiving several heart-felt responses from fellow members, this forum can be a great place to share and receive support! I was thinking you may also be interested in checking out threads that have been started by younger members - several state their age in the thread's subject, so they are easy to find in the Our Storiesforum. There is strength and support in community.

So great to have you in the community! Welcome and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. There are so many helpful and knowledgeable members ready to support and share their experiences! Best, Mandy
-Certificate for Reversing Cognitive Decline (FMCA)
-Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC)
-National Board Certified- Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC)

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Rainbow
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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby Rainbow » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:56 am

rara93 wrote:Hello, I am new here so I apologize if I break any site rules. I just recently found out that I am 4/4 and I am very scared. Finding out at this age gives me lots of time for prevention, right? Someone please offer me some advice - I feel as if I have rec'd a death sentence.
Hi there and welcome to the site! I'm 25 and also 4/4. I first found out about this stuff about a year and a half ago. At the time, I also felt as if I'd received a death sentence. While prevention is something that I admittedly still obsess about a lot, I'm very happy with my life and am optimistic about the future. I really like the fact that taking measures to prevent cognitive decline is good for all-around physical and psychological health. Feel free to message me any time!
4/4

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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby Fiver » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:38 pm

Getting freaked out, more or less, is normal. Use it as motivation to take control of your health. The exercise and healthy diets support mental health also - so they might help you to feel better. The shock does fade in time and as you learn more. If it gets too overwhelming get support from family, friends, doctors, or therapy. You're in no danger from this right now. You're just investing in a healthy older age down the road.

In your 20s I would suggest that the best prevention is a healthy, happy, meaningful life (without big bumps on the head). Really. Go have a great life - do great things and help people. You may never have a problem from your apoe4 genes! Meanwhile the research will move forward. In 40 years the whole medical landscape will be radically different.
Concerned, but hopeful. Introverted, but will talk about science.

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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby IForgot » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:42 am

rara93 wrote:Hello, I am new here so I apologize if I break any site rules. I just recently found out that I am 4/4 and I am very scared. Finding out at this age gives me lots of time for prevention, right? Someone please offer me some advice - I feel as if I have rec'd a death sentence.


Waaas up rara93,

Welcome to the shelter, inspiration, education and support that is ApoE4.info.

About 3 weeks ago, I had the same news as you, so I know the feeling. However, I'm 70! :shock: Instead of a "death sentence", perhaps look at your new awareness as a "life sentence". You have decades and decades to cause the epigenetic tide to turn in your favor. In the mean time, the potential for a cure seems most probable before your runway runs out.

You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Don't let worry and anxiety steal the potential for happiness. This minor ripple in the pond will soon fade away and peace of mind will supplant disconcertment. :D
Best regards,
Steven
Last edited by IForgot on Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby Emerald » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:10 pm

rara, I have some good news: you have found the most positive and helpful online health community on the web. The stereotype that these types of platforms are extremely negative and overrun with self-fulfilling prophecies of gloom and doom? That doesn't exist here. You are now surrounded by proactive people who are articulate, intelligent, and driven to live their best lives.

23andMe made me aware of my single copy of APOE4 last summer at 28 years old. I made some healthy lifestyle changes, but had a total freak out a few months ago. This community helped me realize that life is only beginning, and made me feel truly empowered and believe I am going to be okay.

Stick around. It's okay to be shocked, but that gut-wrenching feeling will disappear, I promise. Soon you will be filled with hope and that drive I mentioned above. :)

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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby Flora » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:41 am

rara93 wrote:Hello, I am new here so I apologize if I break any site rules. I just recently found out that I am 4/4 and I am very scared. Finding out at this age gives me lots of time for prevention, right? Someone please offer me some advice - I feel as if I have rec'd a death sentence.


Hi rara93, I'm a journalist in a very similar situation (4/4 and 28 years old). Can I ask how you found out about your results?

eillac
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Re: 26 and 4/4

Postby eillac » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:05 am

Hi all! I am also a 26 year old that found out I'm 4/4 from 23andMe (and subsequent investigation on Promethease). I confirmed that this wasn't a fluke by also looking at the gene on my parents' raw AncestryDNA files. I don't have any advice other than to say that other people in the same situation are out there, and it's impossible to predict the future.


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