Genetic testing for alzheimer's- Are you interested?

My sister informed me that since there seems to be a propensity for this disease on my mother's side of the family (we have an elderly aunt suffering from it right now) she was interested in doing a genetic screening to see what the test revealed. Evidently they have developed drugs to possibly help stave off the onset of alzheimer's. She thought I should consider along with our mother such testing as well. 

Do I really want to know this kind of information? If the test results are positive for my chances of contracting the disease where does that leave me? Do I really want to start taking medication for something I may or may not inherit? Does this knowledge not provide additional angst in my life?

I choose to not know. Cancer is prevalent in my family gene pool already so I figure that is what will get me eventually anyway. The idea of starting to pop all these pills just to hopefully fend off who knows what for awhile is not very savory. And what are the side effects of these medications? 

Life is a crap shoot at best. You roll the dice and sometimes it comes up snake eyes.

With the continuing advancements in science and medical research we are now able to know much more about our bodies. The question is how much information is too much?

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You may or may not contract Polio. Doesn't mean it's not a good idea to get vaccinated. True, if there is a test for Alzheimers, (I haven't heard of one, though I'd like to know) it would be a good idea to find out and start trying to prevent it, or at least prepare for it. My grandfather died of Alzheimers. I watched it happen, and to be honest, I'd rather rot in hell than have my mind deteriorate like that. A mind is all I am, a consciousness in a meat mech, stomping around and learning new things. My mind is my most valued possession, and nothing save for the cessation of my body will take it from me. If I'm ever diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers, then I'm going out with a bang, I'm talking about human firework bang. Skydiving with the human Jihad package. I'm putting on a damn show, because hell will spontaneously exist and then freeze over before my mind dies before my body will.

I was going to go get this test, except I forgot...

Seriously, though, I'm of two minds on this.

One is the old "House" rule from the TV show.  If you do a whole-body scan on any adult, you'll find dozens of things that are "wrong", and the person is fine.  This stuff can drive you nuts with unnecessary worry, so why bother?

On the other hand, data is a good thing.  Why turn down data as a rationalist?  You can choose to act on it or not, or just tell friends/family and have them keep an eye out for early symptoms. 

Which you choose just depends on you. 

"Are you interested?" - I don't remember.

My grandmother has that. I should get tested for that too.

Sadly I know its there somewhere in my family. Happily I keep using my mind, and trying to stay away from toxic exposures, with a change to a rather nice diet.

Got to love the mind more than the crazy in our lives...

I would not want to know right now.  I am at hugely high risk for breast cancer since my mother and sister have had it.  I went to see a specialist who recommended prophylactic chemotherapy.  My sister, who of course has had the chemotherapy, told me to not do it. She said, "The drugs are nasty.  Wait until you get cancer to do something so horrible.  Until then, enjoy your life."

I thought it made good sense so that's what I am doing.  

I know way too much about dementia to be able to deal with the news that I have it or am highly likely to develop it.  I guess it would be good to know and plan accordingly but I really wouldn't want that news.  It is a tough one.  

My mom is just returning from a visit to the homeland where the last two remaining siblings of the family, besides herself, are both knocking at the reaper's door. The brother has bone cancer and was not aware my mother's presence when she went to his hospital. Then she went to a different part of town to visit her sister, at a nursing facility, suffering from alzheimer's and my aunt did not recognize her sister. Double whammy. Some day I will probably be faced with looking at my mom and she will be blank as to who I am. Kind of unnerving thinking about that possibility.


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