Adult offspring of parents with Alzheimer's are more likely to be diagnosed with the condition themselves.
This was the conclusion of a team of researchers at the University of Washington, who studied the frequency of the neurological condition in the grown-up children of 11 families in which both parents had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
Of the 297 offspring, some 23 per cent developed the condition in later life, compared with an average of between six and 13 per cent of the general population.
The study's authors, who detailed their findings in the Journal Archives of Neurology, stated that these results could be helpful in predicting who will develop Alzheimer's and thus useful in identifying early warning signs and developing treatments.
It was also noted that having additional family members with the condition did not increase the risk of developing the condition but did have a link with early-onset Alzheimer's.
The study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health and by Veterans Affairs research funds.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, some 700,000 individuals living in the UK have Alzheimer's disease.
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