Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Test

by Helix

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In the fight against late onset Alzheimer's disease, knowing your risk can help you plan for your future.

$250.00
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Includes a DNA kit for first-time users.


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Important considerations

Knowing this information can influence your insurance.

Health insurance and employment are protected by federal regulations. However, you may be asked to share the results of this test if you apply for life, disability, and long term care insurance. These companies can use this information to deny you coverage.

Results may be more or less accurate depending on your ethnicity. 

The accuracy of results is based on which backgrounds have been studied most. In the case of Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, people of European ancestry have been studied most. Therefore, results may be more accurate for people of European background.

Other factors play a role in your changes of developing Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease.

Your age, gender, diet, other lifestyle factors, even additional genetic factors may affect your risk of developing the condition. Genetic results alone do not determine if you will develop Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

Your result can tell you something about your family.

Because you share genetic information with your relatives, learning your results can also reveal information about your relatives possible risk. Not everyone wants to learn this information.

There is no cure.

There is currently no clinically approved treatment or cure for Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Research into potential treatments or cures is ongoing.

This test can't tell you about your health right now.

This test can not determine if you currently have Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease or if you will definitely develop it in the future. This test does not provide a diagnosis.

What will I learn?

You will learn how your DNA may contribute to your risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Your DNA contains changes passed down from your biological parents. These changes are called variants and can affect your chance of getting a disease. Some variants may increase the risk for a condition, while others may decrease your risk. Others have no known effect at all.

To understand your risk, we look for specific variants in a region of your DNA called the APOE gene. These variants come in different versions which can results in increased, average, or decreased risk for developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease. There are also other genetic variants that can impact your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease that are not included in this test. The APOE gene alone is the the strongest genetic contributor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Your genetic results are only part of your overall risk— other factors can also affect your risk.

Product Summary

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and personality changes. Late-onset Alzheimer's disease is the most common form, often developing after age 65. The Late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Test helps you discover your risk of developing the condition based on two genetic variants in the APOE gene. To decide whether this product is right for you, here's a summary of what the product does and what's included with your purchase.

What does this test do and not do?

This test tells you your genetic predisposition for late-onset Alzheimer's disease based on two genetic variants in the APOE gene

This test is unable to tell you if you have late-onset Alzheimer's disease right now or will definitely develop the condition in the future

What is included:

DNA kit to get your DNA sequenced

Your test results, available online, with information about what the results mean

Access to genetic counseling, which can help answer questions about what your result means for you and your family

What are the benefits of testing?

Currently, there is no known prevention or cure for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Even so, there may be a number of benefits from this testing.

Knowledge

Some people are curious about how their DNA influences their chance of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Knowing your genetic result may help you better prepare for the future.

Lifestyle change

Learning about your chance of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease may motivate you to make healthy lifestyle changes like healthy diet, exercising, and managing stress that are known to positively impact brain health (and overall health).

Contribute to research

Scientists are researching Alzheimer's disease and trying to discover preventative treatments or cures. You could participate in the studies run by clinical groups to advance research.

What will my results tell me?

There are three possible results based on which APOE result you have. In rare cases, we cannot determine your result. When we can provide your result, it will typically be one of the following:

Decreased Risk

For individuals with this result, the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease is lower than the population average, but not zero. This means there is a 1% chance of developing the condition by age 75 compared to 2% for the average person. One person out of 100 with this result will develop the condition.

View sample report

Average Risk

For individuals with this result, the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease is equal to the population average. This means there is a 2% chance of developing the condition by age 75. Two people out of 100 with this result will develop the condition.

View sample report

Increased Risk

For individuals with this result, the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease is higher than the general population. The amount of increased risk will depend on your specific combination of APOE results, from about 5% up to 31% by age 75 compared to 2% for the average person. Between five and 31 people out of 100 with this result will develop the condition.

View sample report

The science

  • What we look for
  • What is reported
  • Test performance summary
  • Limitations
  • References

What we look for

We look for two common genetic factors in APOE, the gene most strongly associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease risk. Based on this information, we are able to determine whether you have a protective effect (e2/e2 or e2/e3 result), average risk (e3/e3 result), or increased risk (e2/e4, e3/e4, or e4/e4 results). Having increased risk does not guarantee that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Likewise, having decreased risk does not mean you won’t develop Alzheimer’s disease.

This test does not detect all genetic variants related to late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Even if no variant is found from this test, there is a possibility that you could have other genetic variants related to the disease. This test does not test for any variants associated with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

In some cases, we may not be able to process your sample. If this happens, we will notify you by email and offer you a refund.

View white paper

What is reported

We report two variants in the APOE gene that, when combined, make up the six possible APOE results: e2/e2, e2/e3, e3/e3, e2/e4, e3/e4, and e4/e4. The technical names of these variants are:  

  • rs429358

  • rs7412

These names refer to the locations in your DNA that this test analyzes.

While APOE may have a role in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in people who have symptoms of it, this gene is not broadly used as a screening test to predict whether someone without symptoms will or will not develop the disease. Professional guidelines do not currently recommend APOE testing for medical use such as predicting or diagnosing the disease.

Test performance summary

Helix has analyzed the performance of the Exome+ assay for the specific genetic factors included in this test. Below, you can find an overview of the test performance. For more information, please read the package insert.

Limitations

This test does not detect all genetic variants related to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and the absence of a variant tested does not rule out the presence of other genetic variants that may be related to the disease.

Genetics only contributes some of your overall risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Other factors, such as age, biological sex, family history, and diet also appear to play a role. While none of these factors are proven to cause the condition, they are important to consider when understanding your overall risk.

Other companies offering genetic risk tests may include different variants for the same health condition. This means that it's possible to get different results using a test from a different company.

This test is not intended to diagnose a disease, tell you anything about your current state of health, or be used to make medical decisions, including whether or not you should take a medication or how much of a medicine you should take.

Some people may feel anxious about getting genetic test health results. This is normal. If you feel very anxious, you should speak to your doctor or other health care professional prior to collection of a sample for testing. This test is not a substitute for visits to a doctor or other health care professional. You should consult with your doctor or other health care professional if you have any questions or concerns about the results of your test or your current state of health.

For Health Professionals:

This test is not intended to diagnose a disease, determine medical treatment, or tell the users anything about their current state of health.

This test is intended to provide users with their genetic information to inform lifestyle decisions and conversations with their doctor or other health care professional.

Any diagnostic or treatment decisions should be based on testing and/or other information that you determine to be appropriate for your patient.

References

Coon KD, Myers AJ, Craig DW et al. (2007) A high-density whole-genome association study reveals that APOE is the major susceptibility gene for sporadic late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 68(4):613-618.

Genin E, Hannequin D, Wallon D et al. (2011) APOE and Alzheimer disease: a major gene with semi-dominant inheritance. Molecular Psychiatry 16(9):903-907.

Genetic counseling support is always available

You may have questions about your results, like what they mean for you and your family, how to cope with what you have learned, and what next steps you can take. To help you through this journey, Helix provides resources every step of the way, including easy access to genetics professionals.

Click here to talk to a genetic counselor if you have questions about the test or to help you decide if testing is right for you.

Genetic counselors are board-certified healthcare providers with specialized training in genetics who help people understand, manage, and cope with genetic results that may impact their lives, their health, and the health of their family.

You should speak with a board-certified genetic counselor at your convenience at no additional cost to you.

How it works

In order to use Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease Genetic Test, you will have to have your DNA sequenced. It's a simple process and you'll only have to do this once—no matter how many DNA-powered products you. use in the future.

Step 1

Receive DNA kit

You will receive a DNA collection kit to get you on the road of DNA insights. Depending on the product, you may also receive a blood sampling kit.

Step 2

Send kit back

Once you've completed and registered your DNA kit, mail it back with our pre-paid postage.

Step 3

Explore results

It takes our lab 6-8 weeks to process your sample. Once we have completed the sequencing process you will receive an email with a link to your results.

Questions

  • What is late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease?

    Alzheimer's disease is characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and personality changes. Late-onset Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of Alzheimer's disease, developing after age 65.

  • What does this test do?

    This test reports on the e2, e3, and e4 versions of the APOE gene. The 6 possible combinations, e2/e2, e2/e3, e3/e3, e2/e4, e3/e4, and e4/e4, are associated with different risks of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

    The e2/e2 and e2/e3 results are associated with decreased risk compared to average. The e3/e3 result is considered average risk. The e2/e4 and e3/e4 results are associated with slightly increased risk and the e4/e4 result is associated with increased risk compared to average.

  • What does this test not do?

    This test does not diagnose late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

    This test can’t tell you if you will definitely develop late-onset Alzheimer’s disease nor can it tell you if you have late-onset Alzheimer’s disease right now.

    This test only analyzes genetic factors that influence your risk—it can not provide a complete analysis of your risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s because it does not take into account other factors that influence your risk.

    This test only analyzes two genetic factors that are associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. These genetic factors are called rs429358 and rs7412. This test does not analyze all genetic factors associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

    This test does not provide any analysis about early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

  • This page says that results may be more accurate for people of European descent. What if I am not of European descent?

    Lifetime risk estimates for developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease have been studied the most in people of European descent. If you are not of European descent, the general direction of risk (increased or decreased) is still likely to be true, but the exact estimates of lifetime risk may vary.

  • Where can I learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, support groups, and other resources?

    There are a number of resources to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease. Check out the following:

    Alzheimer’s Association

    Alzheimer’s Society

    AlzForum

    Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures

  • What other factors influence my risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease?

    There are a number of factors that influence the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The most well known factors are increased age, female biological sex, and a family history of the condition. Other factors include diet, level of mentally activity and exercise have all been suggested to play a role although none are definitively proven.

  • How is my DNA information used by Helix? Is it shared with anyone else?

    Your DNA information is stored securely by Helix. Helix only uses the relevant DNA information for this product to generate your results. We do not share your DNA with anyone without your permission. We always maintain high standards when it comes to the security and privacy of your DNA information.

  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease runs in my family. Is this the right product for me?

    This test provides information on late-onset Alzheimer's disease. This test does not provide any analysis of genes known to cause early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. If you are concerned about your risks for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, you should talk to your doctor.

  • What are the appropriate steps to take after getting the results of this test?

    You may have questions as you learn and understand your risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. You should share your results with a healthcare professional, like your doctor or a genetic counselor, who will help you understand your results and help answer your questions. Even though there is no prevention or cure for this disease, you can discuss a health plan, like lifestyle modifications, with your doctor. You can also get involved in patient organization groups who can provide more information and resources on this condition or participate in research focused on preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Do I have to get sequenced to use this product?

    Yes, in order to use Late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Test you must be sequenced by Helix. To ensure the quality and accuracy of the genetic information used for this service, Helix requires that users get sequenced by Helix.

  • What are the clinical guidelines for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease genetic testing?

    Genetic testing for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease is not currently recommended by any healthcare professional organizations. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association, a patient advocacy group, has taken the position that broad population genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease is not recommended since there is no known cure or prevention for the condition and since genetic testing cannot predict who will or will not develop the condition.

  • How does this test differ from other tests?

    Other tests on the market may only look at a single variant in the APOE gene and can only report increased risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This test can tell you whether you have increased, average or decreased risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease because this test analyzes two variants in the APOE gene.

  • How could my results affect my family?

    Since you share DNA with your family members, they may also be interested in your result. As you share 50% of your DNA with each of your parents, siblings and children, your result can provide an insight into your family’s. Your family members can choose to get tested, based on your result, to determine their risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease. This test is not available for people under 18 years of age.

  • What are tools for talking with my family about my results?

    After receiving your results, you may consider sharing them with your close family members. They may also have health risks and want to have genetic testing of their own—seeing your report could help them understand all of this a bit more.

    Here’s how sharing your test results could help your family:

    • They could become aware of, and better understand, their health risks

    • They could think about whether genetic testing is right for them, based on your experience

    • Because these conditions are inherited, your family members could choose genetic testing that takes your results into consideration

    • They could learn about their screening or treatment options and create action plans with their doctors

    Sharing results with family members can be a tricky process to navigate, since everyone reacts to this type of information differently. If you’re speaking to your doctor or a genetic counselor, they can give you suggestions on best ways to share your results with family. There are many approaches to sharing sensitive information, whether it’s writing a letter, knowing trustworthy resources for information and support, or just considering how to broach the subject.

    You can speak with a genetic counselor from Genome Medical at no additional charge. Genome Medical is a group of qualified professionals who are familiar with the Late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Test and are available to help you understand your results, discuss them with your family, and more. Your doctor can also refer you to a genetic counselor, although the cost of this referral would not be covered by Late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Test.  

  • Are there are minimum requirements for viewing the results of this product?

    You must use one of the following browser versions: Chrome 71 or above or Safari 12 or above.

  • Where can I find the references for information on this page?

    Coon KD, Myers AJ, Craig DW et al. (2007) A high-density whole-genome association study reveals that APOE is the major susceptibility gene for sporadic late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 68(4):613-618.

    Genin E, Hannequin D, Wallon D et al. (2011) APOE and Alzheimer disease: a major gene with semi-dominant inheritance. Molecular Psychiatry 16(9):903-907.