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HOME / people living with dementia / Hearing (and giving) a diagnosis / 1.9 Your family’s risk of dementia

1.9 Your family’s risk of dementia

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

Your children only have a moderately increased risk of getting 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. – like heart disease or diabetes, for example.

Go to the next section on Coming to terms with dementia 

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