Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Alzheimer's Disease

Where can I find out more information about Alzheimer’s disease?

You can find additional information on the Alzheimer’s Association website at You can change the language settings to “En Español” at the top of the web page.

What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

Dementia is a loss in memory, language, or other thinking skills that can affect daily life. There are over 100 types of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

Are there behaviors that are signs a person is developing Alzheimer’s disease?

Yes. Some of these signs include memory loss, problems remembering words, getting lost, and changes in behavior. People that develop Alzheimer’s disease may experience symptoms differently, even within the same family.

Are there medications for Alzheimer’s disease?

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. There are a few medications available for Alzheimer's disease that may help to slow disease progress in some people. Other people may not see any effect. These medications can have side effects such as gastrointestinal problems.

Do Latinos have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease than other groups?

Previous studies have found that Latinos who live in northern Manhattan have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared to others living in the area. More research is needed to find out what factors may account for this.

What factors increase my risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease?

Many different factors affect the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The most important factor is increasing age.  Some of the other factors include heart health, obesity, diabetes, family history, and brain injury. Much is still unknown about all the risk factors that can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease risk.

What can I do to lower my risk?

Keeping your mind and body active, maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, and taking care of your health conditions and mental well-being can help reduce your risk.  Some examples of a healthy lifestyle include staying socially active (keeping in touch with friends and family or joining a club), being physically active (walking, dancing, swimming), and maintaining a balanced, heart-healthy diet.

Genetics and APOE Genetic Testing

What are genes?

DNA is the material that controls the inheritance of many human traits, such as eye color or the risk of some diseases. A piece of DNA that determines a body characteristic or function is called a “gene.”

What are the different types of the APOE gene?

There are three different types of the APOE gene: ε2, ε3 and ε4.  Everyone inherits two APOE genes, one from the mother and one from the father. This means each of your cells has two APOE genes, so you have one of the following six possible combinations: ε2-ε2, ε2-ε3, ε2-ε4, ε3-ε3, ε3-ε4, ε4-ε4.

  • The ε4 form is present in approximately 25% of all people. Having an ε4 increases the chance for having Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The ε3 form is the most common version of APOE.
  • The ε2 form is the rarest version of APOE. Having an ε2 lowers the chance for having Alzheimer’s disease.

Does having an ε4 form of APOE mean I will definitely have Alzheimer’s disease?

No. Many people who have an ε4 will NOT develop the disease. Having an ε4 is just one of the many risk factors involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. 

How does having the ε4 form of the APOE gene affect my future?

Having the ε4 form of APOE can increase your risk by 2 to 3 times, while having two copies can increase the risk even more. However, having the ε4 form of APOE is just one of many factors that can affect the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

How does having the ε4 form of APOE affect my family?

If you have an ε4, other members of your family may also have an ε4 and may have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These family members include your parents, brothers, sisters, children, and other relatives.

About the IDEAL Study

What is the study about?

The purpose of the study is to understand how Latinos respond to learning about their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Where can I learn more about the details of this study and what I am being asked to do?

Please read over the slides for the Introductory Session. You can also learn more by reading the consent form or reaching out to the study team if you have any questions.

How will I be compensated?

Compensation will be given in the form of gift cards. You will be sent a link through email or text message to a site where you can choose a gift card. The amounts are as follows:

  • $25 for returning the cheek swab sample
  • $75 for attending the Risk Evaluation Session
  • $30 for each survey completed
  • $100 for each interview completed (selected participants only)

What if I did not receive my gift card?

Check your spam mail folder for an email from “” on behalf of “”

Can I decide I no longer want to know my APOE genetic test result?

Yes. However, if you decide not to know your genetic test results, you will no longer be able to be part of the study.

Who will have access to my APOE genetic test results?

Only you and the research team will have access to your APOE genetic test results.

Do insurance companies have access to my APOE genetic test results?

No. Only the study team and you will know your results.

Additional Questions

If you have additional questions please contact us at by calling us at 877-374-4363 or emailing us at