I think the obvious answer is yes, of course we would all want to know if we were likely to get Alzheimer's. Then we could plan. Get early intervention. Plan our care, plan our finances and our ultimate death.
But not so fast. Some have said that taking this test would negatively affect the way they live now. That although they could start medications early and possibly offset the advancement of Alzheimer's, the notion that they are likely to get this disease would not be worth the detrimental affect that it would have of their lives now. And since there is no current cure, advance notice would only serve to depress them. Although many of us would want advance notice, in order to take preemptive care, it's a mindset that is understandable.
Right now, there are tests available to assess the likelihood of a person developing this disease and medications one can take - but no cure.
For those would may wish to take it, studies of these tests done at the University Medical Center in Amsterdam have shown that those with mild cognitive impairment (the typical forgetfulness we hear about in older people) are much more likely to go on to a diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
The part of the brain involved in memory is called the hippocampus. If a person has a small hippocampus in general, and a high shrinkage rate, they are 65 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's. A test can tell a person the state of their hippocampus.
Studies done at the University Of Pennsylvania School of Medicine show the same results. Even mild changes in the brain seem to suggest that these changes are far more likely to lead to Alzheimer's that with those who showed no changes - and that these changes affect neurological health.
Early intervention and medications can help a person off-set the damaging and very sad effects of Alzheimer's. But of course, there is still no cure, and although the effects may be slowed as a result of intervention, a person will still develop the condition - but possibly later than someone without earlier professional involvement.
For more on Alzheimer's Disease, click here to Empowher's Encyclopedia : http://www.empowher.com/condition/alzheimers-disease
Would you consider taking this test? Do you think by knowing how your future may change, that the way you live now would be affected? How?
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