Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A test for Alzheimer's risk

A news piece by Jennifer Couzin in the Feb. 22 Science notes that starting in about a month, for ~$400, you can send a saliva sample to Smart Genetics in Philadelphia for their "Alzheimer's Mirror" test that determines whether you have a variant of the APOE gene that indicates a risk of Alzheimer's that's 3 to 15 times higher than normal. The company plans plan to screen out those who seem emotionally unstable and provide a genetic counseling session by telephone before giving out APOE results.

Not surprisingly many physicians and researchers are expressing reservations about making this gene test widely available. What are the mental health consequences of being told you may get a disease that's neither preventable nor treatable and is invariably fatal? (It's the only genetic information that James Watson, the DNA discoverer who recently had his entire genome sequenced, kept secret.) Would it turn out that people who had this information were more likely experience depression?

An officer at Smart Genetics argues that knowing one is at higher risk might trigger practical responses, including regular memory screenings or making certain financial decisions such as buying long-term care insurance.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi

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Dallas County Jail said...

Does eating a lot of fish and few processed foods really help protect against Alzheimer's disease?

hsbc hong kong said...

Many physicians and researchers are expressing reservations about making this gene test widely available.

Société Hong Kong Express said...

Many physicians and researchers are expressing reservations about making this gene test widely available.

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Knowing one is at higher risk might trigger practical responses, including regular memory screenings or making certain financial decisions such as buying long-term care insurance.

hormone therapy said...

I think The people have the right to know if they are in risk of getting Alzheimer because of their genes. But they have the right not to disclose it to health insurance providers, and these insurance companies should not have unwanted access to these records.

Longevity Time said...

There are many people who are interested in genealogy. Problem is it just takes time and money to delve further to the information regarding their roots. Some just forget about it and save themselves from all that hassle.

biologic said...

I think it's important to get tested early, early detection gives way to a better and faster recovery.

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