New Alzheimer’s Test Not For Everyone

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It’s been about eight months since the Food and Drug Administration approved a test that can aide doctors in identifying those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s but many obstacles remain in the way before the test becomes widely adopted.

At about $3-thousand, the price tag coupled with the fact that most insurance plans will not cover the test is a major problem. This test also cannot tell you definitivelty whether you have Alzheimer’s or not. Instead, it measures the levels of a protein called amyloid, which accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. If none is detected, the patient doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. But, if amyloid is found, there can still be no definite diagnosis.

Although there are obvious shortcomings, this test is still a great advancement in Alzheimer’s diagnoses, which previously took the examination of a deceased individual’s brain to reach. However, there are many who would prefer not to know whether they were at a high risk of dementia. Unfortunately, that knowledge that you may soon be stricken with Alzheimer’s does not give a person a better chance to avoid it.

Sondra Forsyth, of ThirdAge, writes of specific individual’s choices about the Alzheimer’s test and how it has affected them. It’s an interesting read that illustrates how complicated the issues surrounding the test can be.

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