"For any given individual, for a given age and genetic information, we can calculate your "personalized" annualized risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD)", said co-author Rahul Desikan, clinical instructor at the University of California San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging.
Alzheimer's is a chronic disease that damages your mental functions and ultimately leads to memory loss.
Dementia affects 850,000 people in the United Kingdom and recently overtook heart disease to become the leading cause of death in England and Wales.
Can Genetic Testing Predict Alzheimer's Risk?The polygenic hazard score test was created using genetic data from 70,000 people and is based on 31 genetic markers, the Guardian reports.
The results showed that polygenic architecture plays an important role in modifying Alzheimer's risk beyond a gene called APOE - the most important genetic risk factor for the neurodegenerative disease.
However, Dr Sancho highlighted that the scoring system is not an accurate prediction of a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's.
Assessing someone's lifetime risk of contracting the disease is of concern not just to patients and families, but also healthcare providers.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia.
He said the study, which focussed primarily on individuals of European descent living in the USA, "needs to be tested further in mixed, non United States populations".
In this study, researchers from King's College London and the National Institute on Aging in the United States looked at brain tissue samples from 43 people ranging in age from 57 to 95 years old. "If you're looking for ways to reduce your risk, remember what's good for your heart is good for your head, and it may be possible to lower your risk by staying active, eating well, and learning new skills".
Most people with the disease begin to show symptoms in their 60s, but rarer cases of early onset Alzheimer's can begin as early as the 30s. The risk score was found to predict with 90% accuracy the age at which patients had already contracted Alzheimer's disease when tested against a group of diagnosed Alzheimer's patients.