The medical profession are often split over whether testing people to determine the likelihood of them developing Alzheimer's disease is ethically right and a beneficial exercise.
Controversy arises because the variant - Apolipoprotein E.APOE - is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause Alzheimer's.
A lack of general treatment options for Alzheimer's has also raised concerns that the genetic information could burden patients. There have been numerous consensus statements and articles to this effect.
Much research has been conducted to understand how the E. APOE contributes to both the formation of amyloid brain lesions and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's.
Previous work has shown that E. APOE can speed up the build up of amyloid plaques in the brain, which are composed of amyloid-beta protein (AB) and are a major hallmark of the condition.
E. APOE converts AB into the toxic filamentous amyloid, which damages nerve cells in parts of the brain controlling memory and cognition.
Find out more about Alzheimer's disease care at Barchester homes.