• 01-02-2024

Dementia is a syndrome characterized by the deterioration of cognitive functions such as memory, thinking, orientation, and learning ability. This condition can significantly impact the quality of life for both the patient and their close ones. One of the frequently raised questions concerning dementia is whether it has a hereditary component.

Types of Dementia

There are numerous types of dementia, and researchers believe that many individuals with dementia may have multiple types simultaneously.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. In the majority of cases, Alzheimer's disease is not inherited. Only 1% of cases can be hereditary.

The primary risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is age, It mainly affects individuals between 70 and 80 years old. If your parents or grandparents developed the disease in this age range, it does not elevate your individual risk compared to the rest of the population.

However, if Alzheimer's disease occurs at an earlier age, it increases the risk of hereditary transmission.

Another common type of dementia is vascular dementia, affecting 5% to 10% of individuals with dementia. It is believed to result from damage to blood vessels in the brain, such as from a stroke.

In most cases, vascular dementia is not inherited. However, certain hereditary conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, and hypertension may contribute to the development of dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia arises from damage to neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It is relatively rare and tends to occur at a younger age than other forms of dementia, with approximately 60% of cases affecting individuals aged 45 to 64.

In most cases, the causes of frontotemporal dementia are unknown. If family members have this type of dementia, the risk of developing dementia increases. About 10-30% of cases are attributed to specific genetic causes.


Certain genes do increase the likelihood of developing dementia, but they do not guarantee the disease. These genes do not cause the illness but rather raise the overall probability of its development.

Dementia Development

The development of dementia is believed to be influenced by both genetic factors (which cannot be changed) and lifestyle factors (things that can be altered: diet, bad habits, physical activity).

It is crucial to note that age is the most significant risk factor for dementia. The older you get, the higher the likelihood of encountering this condition.

Reducing the Risk of Dementia

Lifestyle changes can help decrease the overall risk of developing dementia. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and quitting smoking.
  • Keep your brain active by learning new skills and engaging in mentally challenging activities.
  • Manage chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.


Dementia may have a hereditary component, but it depends on the specific case. Most dementia cases are not linked to genetic predisposition. Age is the primary risk factor for developing the disease.

Having dementia among close relatives may increase the chances of developing the illness, especially if dementia manifests before the age of 60.

If you have relatives with dementia, it is essential to discuss your risk with a doctor. A medical examination can help determine if there are any genetic factors that might elevate your risk.

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