Blood Test for Alzheimer's. Would You Want to Know?
Posted Feb 09 2011 9:00am
Scientists have developed an antibody-screening blood test that may one day be used to detect diseases such as Alzheimer's. The test allows scientists to identify biomarkers for any disease to which the immune system reacts. Additional testing needs to be conducted before this can be introduced into mainstream medicine.
Independently, investigators at Tufts University asked 1,463 study participants to respond to randomly generated scenarios in which they were asked if they would get a blood test to find out if they had a disease such as Alzheimer's. The scenarios stipulated that the disease was not preventable and that the out-of-pocket fee for the test is high.
Researchers found that the majority of respondents would get the test anyway. Those who did want to know said they'd be more likely to sign up for an advance directive and spend more time with friends and family members.
So would you want the test?
What if the test is wrong?
I believe in advanced directives and spending more time with family and friends. But does knowing translate into the disease and a self-fulfilling prophecy of eventual death?