NelBell wrote:Hello everyone!
I am 22 years old and I recently took a 23andme test that said I have one of the e4 variant. I have always been very forgetful but since getting this result, I have been terrified and having panic attacks and nervous breakdowns everyday and everytime I forget something or don't remember a certain thing that day. I went to see a neurologist two days ago because I am forgetful and I thought I might have been having early signs, but he said it was just from stress. (He didn't actually perform any scans, just asked me questions.) He did send an order for me to do a blood test to see if I have any vitamin deficiency levels. I am very terrified because I know that my great grandmother on my mother's side had Alzheimer's and now my grandfather( also mothers side) has some kind of mental decline. I am going to see a therapist so that I could have someone to talk to because I am seriously stressed out about my e4 results. Everytime I forget something I have a nervous breakdown and panic attack.
Can anyone please give me any advice or words of wisdom?
Hello NelBell,Welcome to the ApoE4.info forum!
My name is Rachel and I am one of the interns on the site who greets our new members. You have a lot on your plate right now, to be sure, but you are also doing some of the very best things to help yourself
deal with the new information you have received about your ApoE4 status and your health concerns. You are here asking questions here, which is awesome. You have also reached out to health care providers to help you determine the source of your self reported forgetfulness and anxiety around this problem you are experiencing. Those are amazing first steps to take and you are to be congratulated for taking them. I would like to share some information with you that I trust you will find encouraging and helpful.
First of all, having one or even two copies of the ApoE4 gene variant is a marker of RISK of LATE onset Alzheimer's only, after age 85
. It is not a guarantee that Alzheimer's disease (AD) is inevitable and definitely does not indicate
, as Tincup has mentioned, that someone in their 20s should attribute forgetfulness to onset of AD. So please try to ease your mind about this. Stress most certainly does affect our ability to recall information.
We forget something and the awareness of forgetting adds to our stress which in turn adds to our forgetfulness... creating a vicious cycle. I have noticed this in my own life as I have walked through some very stressful times. Reducing stress can improve your memory!
It is so encouraging to hear that you are including a therapist on your healthcare team. Learning to manage stress, reduce anxiety and control panic attacks is key to helping you bring calm and peace to your mind over these issues.
All of us react in some way to unexpected news. It can bring overwhelming stress on top of other areas of life with their own stressors. Seeking help to effectively process stress is an excellent strategy, NelBell, and you should feel good about doing this.
Something else you should feel good about is that you have taken a first step reaching out to learn more information about your ApoE4 status. You will find there are members here of all ages, from 20s into 90s who are positive for at least one copy of ApoE4. They have processed the new information about their genetic makeup like you are doing right now. They have come to terms with what it means for them and what they need to do to live their best lives. You are well on your way to doing the same!There is so much all of us CAN do to reduce our risk of memory loss as we age
, which you can learn about on this site. Let me take this opportunity to share a few ways you can best navigate the site. Please take your time digesting the information.
If it causes an increase in your anxiety, I encourage you to take a break and spend more time on other things that bring you a sense of calm. You can always come back later to learn more. We are here for you!
A good place to start learning about the ApoE4 gene variant is by reading through the Primer
. One of our members, who is a physician with two copies of the ApoE4 gene, wrote the Primer in a way that non-medical people can understand.
The next link is to a list of lifestyle habits and goals that can help all of our brains function at an optimal level. How we live our day to day life controls much of our genetic expression. Genetic research in the past decade has revealed that genes are not our destiny
as once was thought and that we can turn them on or off by adopting healthier lifestyle habits. Simple Preventive Steps
You may also find encouragement by reading some of the threads on Our Stories Forum
, where people share what brought them to the site, how they are handling the information and things they have done that have helped them cope.
A forum can be a confusing place to find information on a specific topic. Using the Search function helps you find previous conversations or threads on topics that interest you. We encourage people to post to previous topics, even if they haven't been active for a while. It gets conversations going and often promotes new ways of looking at an issue. In addition, you can search for a specific thread topic by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner of the menu bar at the top of the page. How To Search the ApoE4 Site
There is one more link I will share with you that I hope you will find helpful as you participate on the forums and that is How To Get The Most Out Of The ApoE4.Info Website
NelBell, please keep us posted and don't hesitate to reach out with questions or just to vent about your experience. We want you to feel welcome and supported as you process what ApoE4 means to you.