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Would you want to know if you're at risk of Alzheimer's?

Would you want to know if you're at risk of Alzheimer's?
11th July 2012

The number of people with Alzheimer's disease in the UK is rising, as the population continues to age.

With the technology available to predict those at risk of contracting a rare inherited form of the condition, many people across the country will now be asking themselves if they want to know if they are at risk of Alzheimer's.

Early diagnosis of the disease is vital to prolong some of the symptoms associated with late-onset Alzheimer's. It also enables doctors to properly manage the condition and help to stave off dementia.

However, many people are uncomfortable with the notion of knowing their fate and would rather deal with the consequences of the condition as they manifest in the future.

A new study has investigated the willingness of people to know their chance of developing Alzheimer's disease and highlights that more emphasis needs to be put on managing the emotional fall out for a patient after finding out they are at risk.

Dr Kenneth l Berns, editor-in-chief of Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, commented: "This article addresses a major disease of tremendous impact on increasing numbers of people and documents the large psychological component that physicians and genetic counsellors must be ready to address."

Find out more about Alzheimer's disease care at Barchester homes.