Thursday, April 6, 2017

Would you like to know if you would develop Alzheimer's?

No one anticipates developing a disease throughout their life but too many of us have experienced or have seen family with the difficulties of an illness. What if there was the possibility to predict what age someone would develop Alzheimer’s disease? Futurism magazine defines the disease as a “progressive deterioration of brain function”, over 5.5 million people are diagnosed in the US, as well as 200,000 suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s.A genetic test that can calculate age-specific risk of Alzheimer’s development has been created by researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of California San Francisco. The method consists of searching for mutations in genes found in DNA, there are 31 markers, separately the genes would not lead to any abnormal effects, although when established together Alzheimer’s can be predicted to occur in someone’s future. APOE (Apolipoprotein E), the one gene stands out among the rest because with the mutation there is a 15% increase of chance of getting the disease.

The genetic research and testing has opened a new opportunity for the medical field. Pre-testing will lead to using medication for prevention and control. Being able to help someone prepare for their future, but with benefits there are always concerns. Such as, job discrimination if one day the human gnome is required for job applications will someone hesitate to hire someone if they know that the person has a higher chance of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Overall, this research has led to amazing insight into the development of Alzheimer's disease and will continue to flourish as more people donate their DNA. I think this research will be beneficial for patients to have a piece of mind knowing they are doing all in preparation for themselves and their loved ones. For example, if you know that you are going to developed Alzheimer's, if you wish you can stare medication for prevention can be administered, prepare your family when when you may no longer be able to communicate all you would like, spend time doing things that you love and just enjoy life. Knowing that you have something does not always have to be bad news, it allows for appreciation all the little things in life.

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