August 22, 2014

Alzheimer’s test: would you take it?

Apr 23

If you could take a blood test to determine if you would get Alzheimer’s in three years, would you?

In March, Georgetown University released a study in Nature Medicine that says researchers discovered a blood test that can tell if you could have Alzheimer’s disease within three years. The test has a 90% accuracy rate.

Would you take the test?

There are obvious pros and cons. On one hand, it would be terrifying to find out that you were going to develop Alzheimer’s in a few years, and with every forgetful moment you would be panicking that it was starting to settle in. However, on the other hand you would be able to prepare for the situation. You could get finances in order and figure out your future care situation.

It’s hard for me to be able to say what I would do if I were put into that position since I am young, but if I was aging I believe I would get the test.

I’ve witnessed many families struggling to take care of their loved one financially, physically and emotionally. If I had the chance to spare my future family members from arguments about care and finances, I would.

In my mind I liken it to finding out you have incurable cancer. People tend to live those last months with fervor and can get their lives in order and do the things they want to before they die.

What are your thoughts? Would you take the test? Would you encourage an aging family member to take the test?

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The Observer-Reporter's latest staff series will feature Alzheimer's and dementia. Each month, we will concentrate on different aspects of the disease, from what it is, who is affected, resources, and more. This powerful series will go on for the conceivable future.