Having Close Relatives With Alzheimer’s is Linked to Worse Memory, Study Says

Having Close Relatives With Alzheimer’s is Linked to Worse Memory, Study Says
Having close relatives with Alzheimer's disease is linked to poorer memory, a new study has found. The study, titled "Family history of Alzheimer’s disease alters cognition and is modified by medical and genetic factors," was published in eLIFE. Having a family history of Alzheimer's disease and dementia are known risk factors for developing these conditions, but it's less clear how such a predisposition might affect cognition throughout life. Although some studies have investigated this association, most have been too small to draw reliable conclusions. A team of researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Arizona created a website — MindCrowd — to perform memory tests on a massive scale. Participants were asked questions about themselves, such as their sex, education, age, and whether they had any first-degree biological relatives (parents, siblings) with Alzheimer's. They then completed a memory test where they were given 12 word pairs and when given one of the words later, they had to recall the other word in the pair. In total, 59,571 people (aged 18–85) completed the tests. Participants were from all over the world — most of them were in the United States and Europe — predominantly female (62.46%), and white (92.03%). On average, people with a first-degree relative with Alzheimer's and under 65 years old correctly matched 2.5 fewer word pairs than people without such relatives. This effect was particularly strong among males and among people who had diabetes. The effect was seen at all leve
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