Alzheimer’s Gene Test -Would you get tested?

“Did you know that there are more than 5 million people living in the united States over the age of 65 that are dealing with this disease? This means that a tenth of the population are affected by Alzheimer’s” (Pros and Cons). One question doctors hear often from patients is related to the Alzheimer’s gene testing. There are a handful of mutated genes that are passed down from parent to child that can cause early inherited Alzheimer’s disease. Many people wonder if the gene runs in their family and if they should get tested for it. Families who do carry the genes run in a small number. 1–3% of families carry the Alzheimer’s gene (AARP Chicago). Early diagnoses for Alzheimer’s can be hard but there are a variety of test that can be done to see if the person has the gene. There are some pros and cons to the Alzheimer’s gene testing.

There are different tests given by doctors that can test for the gene. The brief cognitive is also known as the mental status test. This test involves given a test to check the onset of thinking problems (Pros and Cons). The benefit of the test is that it is very brief, with 10–15 minutes worth of testing. The neuropsychological test is an oral and written exam that is an effective way for evaluating early cognitive changes. The brain imaging test is more high tech but not all conclusive. This test uses MRI and CT scans to look at the changes of the brain. The test can be a good way to limit the number of cognitive problems (Pros and Cons). The genetic testing is the most popular test, and it analyzes DNA for specific genes. This method of testing is one of the most effective way to diagnose; although, it is not entirely conclusive (Pros and Cons).

People ask of it would be worth the trouble getting tested for Alzheimer’s. As research progressed in the past few years, and still continues to progress we know more and more about the disease. However, the ideal test for Alzheimer’s still has not been developed yet. “The bad news about Alzheimer’s testing is that no conclusive test has been developed that can show with absolute certainty that you have this disease” (Pros and Cons). This might be surprising to some people but it is correct; because there is no single test that can be used for diagnosing the disease, a variety of tests have been developed. Lots more research has to be done to accurately test for the disease. Unnecessary worry or depression is another reason why some people are skeptical about being tested. This is a main reason why many researchers are against Alzheimer’s testing, particularly for those who remain mentally intact and show no signs of the disease. Finding a gene that increases risk for the disease may also cause problems getting health insurance (Good Genes, Bad Genes).

In my opinion, I would not want to be tested for the Alzheimer’s gene. The testing would be very cost worthy and some insurances may not cover them. The testing also puts stress and anxiety on the body that the body does not need. There is also not exact cure for Alzheimer’s disease to prevent it. Therefore why put more strain on knowing of it is not preventable. I feel like for some people the test might be beneficial, but for me however, I would not get he Alzheimer’s gene test.

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