Alzheimer’s Disease: To Know or Not to Know

Do I Want to Know if I Have Alzheimer’s Disease?

Whether or not one is likely to get Alzheimer’s disease, or any other disease for that matter, may not be something people want to know.  In a Washington Post article entitled, “Would You Want to Know if You’re Likely to Get Alzheimer’s Disease?” we learn of an interesting phenomenon where people are reluctant to sign up for a study to develop protocols to prevent memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients because it requires that they be tested for the presence of amyloid plaque in their brains which has been found to be highly associated with developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

AlzheimersAmyloid plaque is clusters of protein in the fatty membrane around nerve cells whose buildup seems to be associated with people with the disease.  According to a study out of Stony Brook University, cognitive impairment may likely result when this protein begins to amass.

Aiming for Early Intervention

In light of this, researchers are eager to get ahead of the curve. They are trying to find ways to target and reverse this buildup.  The first study in this area, Anti-Amyloid Treatment of Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s (A4 Study), tests the drug solanezumab.  The drug was unable to reverse the effects of full-blown Alzheimer’s. However, it shows promise for greater impact earlier on. It can flush out the amyloid before its buildup can affect cognition.

Unwillingness to be Screened

Yet, few seniors in the 65-85 age range seem willing to be screened in order to be part of a study.  They prefer not to be alerted of an impending doom. A fate against which they are, at the moment, defenseless.  The screening does include preparing participants for results, but takers are scarce.

This ambivalence about being tested is likely to get even dicier since a group of British Researchers just announced that they are closing in on a blood test for 10 different blood proteins that can predict with 87% certainty that early signs of dementia will result in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to move the playing field in the fight of Alzheimer’s to the pre-symptom stage. Researchers might have trouble bussing the players to the field. 
David York Agency is well versed in caring for the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease. Our home health aides and home healthcare team are adept at in-home senior care and Alzheimer’s treatments.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit us at our website www.davidyorkagency.com and we would be happy to give you more information about our elder care services.  You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.