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Knowing Risk From a Young Age

A woman Cosmopolitan calls Sarah Brown learned from a 23andMe test that she inherited the e4 allele of the APOE gene, greatly increasing her risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Brown, which is not her real name, tells Cosmo that she was much younger at 26 years of age than many of the other people taking part in Alzheimer's disease forums online, as she searched for ways to mitigate her risk. To that end, she met with a nutritionist and found a personal trainer, as some studies have suggested that eating healthily and getting exercise could stave off the disease. She also found a therapist to help her handle her anxiety, as she notes at Cosmo.

"My friends didn't really understand why I was making such a big deal out of something that might not affect me for literally decades," Brown says at Cosmo. "I felt isolated. But I also knew I was doing the right thing for my future self."

She adds, though, that she has "no idea what the future holds."