Scroll Down Scroll Up
HOME / carers / Hearing (and giving) a diagnosis / 1.11 Your family’s risk of dementia

1.11 Your family’s risk of dementia

Many families want to know about the risk of inheriting dementia or ‘passing it on’ to children or grandchildren.

Several factors play a role

Many family members of people with dementia are concerned about whether dementia is a hereditary disease – in other words, whether they or their children are more likely to get dementia. 

Having a parent with dementia can increase your risk of getting dementia compared to someone who does not have a direct relative with dementia. It is still unclear what exactly causes dementia to run in families.

At this time, scientists say that genetics, environmental, and lifestyle factors may all play a part. 

In most cases, dementia is not related to a family link. There are genetic forms of dementia, but these are extremely rare (about 1% of all people with dementia). People who have these genetic forms tend to get dementia younger (before the age of 65). 

Dementia can affect anyone, and you do not need to have a family history of dementia to be affected.