Learning of Risk of Alzheimer’s Seems to Do No Harm

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According to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients who are told that they are at a highly increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease showed no signs of anxiousness or distress. The randomized study found that carriers of the E4 variant, which marks a highly increased risk for Alzheimer’s, showed neither signs of depression or anxiety when told their genotype status. According to Robert C. Green, M.D., MPH, of Boston University, and colleagues, while the patients showed no signs of depression or anxiety over the information presented about their risk “… some of the patients did purchase more long-term care insurance.” Additionally, “… some E4 carriers might have responded to the disclosure of their increased risk by acting precipitously and unnecessarily on the information to get their affairs in order, fashion advanced directives, avoid major residential or occupational changes, and save money, or, conversely spend it rapidly.” Click here to read an article from The New York Times that discusses this study more.

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