By Dale Bredesen, M.D., Chief Science Officer for Apollo Health

In a widely quoted new research paper, it is claimed that having two copies of ApoE4 (i.e., people who are homozygous for ApoE4, thus ApoE 4/4) represents a “distinct genetic form of Alzheimer’s disease.” In other words, the researchers claim that those who are ApoE 4/4 are destined to develop Alzheimer’s — period, end of story.

Understandably, this has worried many of the 7 million Americans who are homozygous for ApoE4. But please do not lose hope: this is just another message of false hopelessness — none of these people had been on an optimal prevention program, and none had been treated with a precision medicine protocol. We know from both case studies and a clinical trial that people who are ApoE 4/4 can, and do, avoid dementia, and can also improve their cognition for many years.

What this new study really provides is support for what we have been saying for years: every one of us should have our ApoE status evaluated (something that, surprisingly, is not included in the standard of care!), have a cognoscopy at age 40, and begin active prevention. In fact, the new p-tau 217 blood test will help us to see the earliest changes of Alzheimer’s coming for years ahead of time, allowing us to avoid Alzheimer-related dementia in the vast majority of cases.

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